Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung Das r tselhafte Wort Gl ck Spiegel
Camus sees this question of suicide as a natural response toan underlying premise, namely that life is absurd in a variety ofways. As we have seen, both the presence and absence of life(i.e., death) give rise to the condition: it is absurd to continuallyseek meaning in life when there is none, and it is absurd to hope forsome form of continued existence after death given that the latterresults in our extinction. But Camus also thinks it absurd to tryto know, understand, or explain the world, for he sees the attempt togain rational knowledge as futile. Here Camus pits himselfagainst science and philosophy, dismissing the claims of all forms ofrational analysis: “That universal reason, practical or ethical,that determinism, those categories that explain everything are enoughto make a decent man laugh” (MS, 21).
Was ist Gl ck f r mich und was sollte es f r dich sein Gl cksdetektiv
If historically “murder is the problem today” (,5), the encounter with absurdity tells us that the same is truephilosophically. Having ruled out suicide, what is there to say aboutmurder?
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Library of Congress Catalog Data: ISSN 1095-5054
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Albert Camus (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
In these essays, Camus sets two attitudes in opposition. The firstis what he regards as religion-based fears. He cites religiouswarnings about pride, concern for one’s immortal soul, hope foran afterlife, resignation about the present and preoccupation with God. Against this conventional Christian perspective Camus asserts what he regards as self-evident facts: that we must die and there is nothing beyond this life. 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? His answer is: with the “conscious certainty of a death without hope” and in refusing to hide from the fact that we are going to die. ForCamus “there is no superhuman happiness, no eternity outside ofthe curve of the days…. I can see no point in the happiness ofangels” (N, 90). There is nothing but thisworld, this life, the immediacy of the present.
The Paradoxes of Camus’s Absurdist Philosophy
If religious hope is based on the mistaken belief that death, in the sense of utter and total extinction body and soul, is not inevitable, it leads us down a blind alley. Worse, because it teaches us to look away from life toward something to come afterwards, such religious hope kills a part of us, for example, the realistic attitude we need to confront the vicissitudes of life. But what then is the appropriatepath? The young Camus is neither a skeptic nor a relativist here. His discussion rests on the self-evidence of sensuous experience. He advocates precisely what he takes Christianity to abjure: living a life of the senses, intensely, here and now, in the present. This entails, first, abandoning all hope for an afterlife, indeed rejecting thinking about it. “I do not want to believe that death is the gateway to another life. For me it is a closed door” (N, 76).
Here are more notes, and questions to …
Only if we accept that Nietzsche is right, that God is dead andthere is only nothingness after we die, will we then fullyexperience—feel, taste, touch, see, and smell—the joys ofour bodies and the physical world. Thus the sensuous and lyricalside of these essays, their evocative character, is central to theargument. Or rather, because Camus is promoting intense, joyous,physical experience as opposed to a self-abnegating religious life,rather than developing an argument he asserts that these experiencesare the right response. His writing aims to demonstrate what lifemeans and feels like once we give up hope of anafterlife, so that in reading we will be led to “see” hispoint. These essays may be taken as containing highly personalthoughts, a young man’s musings about his Mediterraneanenvironment, and they scarcely seem to have any system. But theysuggest what philosophy is for Camus and how he conceives itsrelationship to literary expression.