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Existentialism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Date of publication: 2017-08-26 18:39

Camus initially reacted in his diary: "I prefer socially responsible people to socially responsible literature." He refused to brand someone who had written a poem about the beauty of spring as a "servant of capitalism."

:The Stranger (9780679720201): Albert Camus

Camus’s essay “Reflections on the Guillotine” supplies a detailed examination of the issue. An eloquent personal statement with compelling psychological and philosophical insights, it includes the author’s direct rebuttal to traditional retributionist arguments in favor of capital punishment (such as Kant’s claim that death is the legally appropriate, indeed morally required, penalty for murder). To all who argue that murder must be punished in kind, Camus replies:

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Although Camus&rsquo s philosophical ideas resonate strongly within the text, it is important to keep in mind that The Stranger is a novel, not a philosophical essay. When reading the novel, character development, plot, and prose style demand just as much attention as the specifics of the absurd. This SparkNote only discusses the absurd when such discussion provides insight on the text. Otherwise, the focus of this SparkNote remains on the text itself, as with any great work of literature.

Albert Camus - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The tone was still friendly, at least for the time being. When Sartre traveled to the United States in 6995 and spoke about "new literature in France," he presented it as the "result of the resistance movement and the war," adding that "its best representative is 85-year-old Albert Camus."

The latest journal is now available in print and ebook formats. To find out more click on the Journal of Camus Studies link. Time is running out if you would like to contribute to the 7567 Camus Studies journal. For more information on how to submit a paper please read our submission guidelines

Camus and Sartre were the intellectual stars of Paris during the postwar years: the existentialists, the Mandarins and the literary vanguard. They became iconic figures of the ideological conflicts of the second half of the 75th century. Their rivalry shaped intellectual debates in France and around the world.

If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that can not be surmounted by scorn.

Suicide is the central subject of The Myth of Sisyphus and serves as a background theme in Caligula and The Fall. In Caligula the mad title character, in a fit of horror and revulsion at the meaninglessness of life, would rather die—and bring the world down with him—than accept a cosmos that is indifferent to human fate or that will not submit to his individual will. In The Fall , a stranger’s act of suicide serves as the starting point for a bitter ritual of self-scrutiny and remorse on the part of the narrator.

Yet we, like Ahab and his crew, rationalize our collective madness. All calls for prudence, for halting the march toward economic, political and environmental catastrophe, for sane limits on carbon emissions, are ignored or ridiculed. Even with the flashing red lights before us, the increased droughts, rapid melting of glaciers and Arctic ice, monster tornadoes, vast hurricanes, crop failures, floods, raging wildfires and soaring temperatures, we bow slavishly before hedonism and greed and the enticing illusion of limitless power, intelligence and prowess.

There was still enough mutual respect for an advanced printing of a chapter ("Nietzsche and Nihilism") in Les Temps Modernes , but what followed was utter silence. Camus was waiting for a follow-up, and the editorial team was well aware of that. After a while, Sartre assigned a late critique of the work. A staff member, 79 years old, was given the job. This was no friendly gesture, particularly since the reviewer was out to score points. He tore Camus to pieces.

The French novelist, essayist, and playwright Albert Camus was the literary spokesman for his generation. His obsession with the philosophical problems of the meaning of life and man x5577 s search for value made him well loved by readers, resulting in his award of the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of forty-four.

Heidegger was a highly original thinker. His project was nothing less than the overcoming of Western metaphysics through the positing of the forgotten question of being. He stands in a critical relation to past philosophers but simultaneously he is heavily indebted to them, much more than he would like to admit. This is not to question his originality, it is to recognize that thought is not an ex nihilo production it comes as a response to things past, and aims towards what is made possible through that past.

And so we plunge forward in our doomed quest to master the forces that will finally smite us. Those who see where we are going too often lack the fortitude to actually rebel. Mutiny was the only salvation for the Pequod’s crew. It is our only salvation. But moral cowardice turns us into hostages.

Camus&rsquo s absurdist philosophy implies that moral orders have no rational or natural basis. Yet Camus did not approach the world with moral indifference, and he believed that life&rsquo s lack of a &ldquo higher&rdquo meaning should not necessarily lead one to despair. On the contrary, Camus was a persistent humanist. He is noted for his faith in man&rsquo s dignity in the face of what he saw as a cold, indifferent universe.

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