Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd
How does Camus define the absurd condition?
What three options does man have when confronted with the absurd? In Camus's perspective, why are the first two not defensible options? According to Camus's philosophy, how--or in what--does one find happiness? Camus "draw[s] from the absurd three consequences"; what are these three consequences? How does he define each of these three? Explain Camus and the philosophy of the absurd's perspective on any three of the following topics, as listed in the entry: The meaning of life; elusion; God; suicide; personal meaning; freedom; hope; integrity.
Although the notion of the 'absurd' is pervasive in all of the literature of Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus is his chief work on the subject. In it, Camus considers absurdity as a confrontation, an opposition, a conflict or a "divorce" between two ideals. Specifically, he defines the human condition as absurd, as the confrontation between man's desire for significance, meaning and clarity on the one hand – and the silent, cold universe on the other. He continues that there are specific human experiences evoking notions of absurdity. Such a realization or encounter with the absurd leaves the individual with a choice: suicide, a leap of faith or recognition. He concludes that recognition is the only defensible option. For Camus, suicide is a "confession" that life is not worth living; it is a choice implicitly declaring that life is "too much". Suicide offers the most basic "way out" of absurdity: the immediate termination of the self and its place in the universe. The absurd encounter can also arouse a "leap of faith", a term derived from one of Kierkegaard's early pseudonyms, Johannes de Silentio (although the term was not used by Kierkegaard himself), where one believes that there is more than the rational life (aesthetic or ethical). To take a "leap of faith", one must act with the "virtue of the absurd" (as Johannes...
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