Absurdity in the mythical and existential

Living with the Absurd The discovery of the absurd will often lead to one of two reflexive responses. The first entails a kind of negative leap into suicide and despair. There is a desperate, though likely unconscious desire to rectify the situation by somehow removing the absurdity from human existence. But the problem, conceived of in this way, can only be solved by distorting and twisting both reality and human reasoning to create some kind of meaning-system.

Absurdity in the mythical and existential

In his book-length essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus presents a philosophy that contests philosophy itself. This essay belongs squarely in the philosophical tradition of existentialism but Camus denied being an existentialist.

Both The Myth of Sisyphus and his other philosophical work, The Rebel, are systematically skeptical of conclusions about the meaning of life, yet both works assert objectively valid answers to key questions about how to live.

Though Camus seemed modest when describing his intellectual ambitions, he was confident enough as a philosopher to articulate not only his own philosophy but also a critique of religion and a fundamental critique of modernity.

While rejecting the very idea of a philosophical system, Camus constructed his own original edifice of ideas around the key terms of absurdity and rebellion, aiming to resolve the life-or-death issues that motivated him.

Since existence itself has no meaning, we must learn to bear an irresolvable emptiness. This paradoxical situation, then, between our impulse to ask ultimate questions and the impossibility of achieving any adequate answer, is what Camus calls the absurd.

Like Sisyphus, humans cannot help but continue to ask after the meaning of life, only to see our answers tumble back down. What role is left for rational analysis and argument? If life has no fundamental purpose or meaning that reason can articulate, we cannot help asking about why we continue to live and to reason.

Might not Silenus be right in declaring that it would have been better not to have been born, or to die as soon as possible? Was Camus actually a philosopher?

This was not merely a public posture, since we find the same thought in his notebooks of this period: Still, Jean-Paul Sartre saw immediately that Camus was undertaking important philosophical work, and in his review of The Stranger in relation to Sisyphus, had no trouble connecting Camus with Pascal, Rousseau, and Nietzsche Sartre In the years since, the apparent unsystematic, indeed, anti-systematic, character of his philosophy, has meant that relatively few scholars have appreciated its full depth and complexity.


They have more often praised his towering literary achievements and standing as a political moralist while pointing out his dubious claims and problematic arguments see Sherman It is not just a matter of giving a philosophical reading of this playwright, journalist, essayist, and novelist but of taking his philosophical writings seriously—exploring their premises, their evolution, their structure, and their coherence.

To do so is to see that his writing contains more than a mood and more than images and sweeping, unsupported assertions, although it contains many of both. Camus takes his skepticism as far as possible as a form of methodical doubt—that is, he begins from a presumption of skepticism—until he finds the basis for a non-skeptical conclusion.

And he builds a unique philosophical construction, whose premises are often left unstated and which is not always argued clearly, but which develops in distinct stages over the course of his brief lifetime. Nevertheless, his philosophy explicitly rejects religion as one of its foundations.

Not always taking an openly hostile posture towards religious belief—though he certainly does in the novels The Stranger and The Plague—Camus centers his work on choosing to live without God. Yet these experiences are presented as the solution to a philosophical problem, namely finding the meaning of life in the face of death.

They appear alongside, and reveal themselves to be rooted in, his first extended meditation on ultimate questions. In these essays, Camus sets two attitudes in opposition. The first is what he regards as religion-based fears. Against this conventional Christian perspective Camus asserts what he regards as self-evident facts: Without mentioning it, Camus draws a conclusion from these facts, namely that the soul is not immortal.

Here, as elsewhere in his philosophical writing, he commends to his readers to face a discomforting reality squarely and without flinching, but he does not feel compelled to present reasons or evidence. If not with religion, where then does wisdom lie? There is nothing but this world, this life, the immediacy of the present.

Hope is the error Camus wishes to avoid.

Existentialism - Wikipedia

But why, we may ask, is hope an evil? Nietzsche explains that humans have come to see hope as their greatest good, while Zeus, knowing better, has meant it as the greatest source of trouble.

For Camus, following this reading of Nietzsche closely, the conventional solution is in fact the problem:The human condition is ultimately torosgazete.com the unconscious mind works in ways to disguise that fact from our awareness while circumventing the uncomfortable feelings that would otherwise be provoked.

The theme of the absurd is present in both the Mythical Worldview and the Existential ist Worldview. The two Worldviews are in ways similar and different.

Fully understanding the meaning of the universe and an individuals existence will never be achieved because since there . The Myth of Sisyphus (French: Le Mythe de Sisyphe) is a philosophical essay by Albert torosgazete.com English translation by Justin O'Brien was first published in In the essay Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd, man's futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values.

"Existential angst", sometimes called existential dread, anxiety, or anguish, is a term that is common to many existentialist thinkers. It is generally held to be a negative feeling arising from the experience of human freedom and responsibility.

And if we recognize that this existential isolation and absurd confrontation is common to all human beings, we can in this way begin to find a sense of solidarity with the rest of humanity.

Absurdity in the mythical and existential

These are some of the ideas that Camus starts to build within the Rebel. Absurdity is defined as that which is contrary to reason; clearly untrue, unreasonable or ridiculous.

It is often a topic in existentialist writings relating to life. This subject is prevalent in Camus’ “The Stranger” and “The Myth of Sisyphus.” Camus depicts absurdity bringing about happiness or indifference in each of these literary works.

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