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Albert Camus. The Absurd. Nonsense of Life A. Fundamental question of philosophy – Is life worth living? 1. Living is not easy. 2. Man is a creature of habit. 3. Committing suicide happens when man decides that. . . a. Daily habits are ridiculous.

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albert camus

Albert Camus

The Absurd

slide2
Nonsense of Life

A. Fundamental question of philosophy – Is life worth living?

1. Living is not easy.

2. Man is a creature of habit.

3. Committing suicide happens when man decides that. . .

a. Daily habits are ridiculous.

b. There is no profound reason to live.

c. Daily agitation is insane.

d. Suffering is useless.

slide3
B. The Feeling of Absurdity

1. Comes from the nausea of mechanical daily existence

a. Same routine, day after day

b. Lassitude leads to the question, Why?

c. In a world without sparkle, man is a “stranger”.

2. Is a result of the divorce between man and his life.

3. Is revealed by the certainty of death.

4. Comes from believing that each day is subject

to tomorrow. Therefore, time is an enemy.

5. Comes when intelligence recognizes that it cannot understand the world.

The world is irrational.

slide4
C. Definition of the absurd

1. The absurd is neither in the world , nor in man, but in their common presence. It is born of their apparent contradiction.

slide5
The Absurd Man
  • Camus refuses to condone acts of avoidance like suicide which suppress man’s conscience and doctrines.
  • Camus decides to live only with that which is known.
slide6
C. Camas assigns three consequences to the absurd.

1. Revolt

a. A perpetual confrontation between man and his own obscurity.

b. It is not an aspiration, but rather, it is the absence of hope.

c. It gives man a sense of nobility.

d. It is the certainty of a crushing fate.

slide7
2. Freedom

a. The absurd man sets aside the problem of personal liberty within, because it relates to the belief in God.

b. The absurd allows man to see things from a new perspective.

(Man knows that his condition is without hope)

slide8
3. Passion

a. Living in an absurd universe consists of multiplying intelligible experiences with passion.

b. Camus insists on the quantity rather than the quality.

c. Man must be ready to pay for his actions.

d. Man is his one and only end.

slide9
The Stranger

According to Germaine Brée Camus was unable to accept traditional religious interpretations of man’s universal condemnation. Life itself is the cause of this tragic problem.

Meursault tells the story himself in the first person but objectively with a kind of flat, impersonal precision as if he is a “stranger” to the events.

slide10
What do you think of Meursault?

- Unresponsive.

- Puzzling.

- Some what repellent.

As we advance in the story, he appears to be sincere and honest. He says what he understands and feels. He does not wish to hurt others. It is only by his lack of sensitivity to the social conventions that Camus makes us realize Meursault’s inability to feel shame and his indifference to social conformity.

slide11
Is Meursault a rebel?

He is not a man who looks at himself as different from other men.

Although, he does not know what interests him, he knows what does not interest him.

  • Is Meursault proud, arrogant, or dejected?

He enjoys the simple pleasure of everyday life.

Underneath his apparent indifference, he slowly changes until he is filled with passion and bitterness.

slide12
What is the unique value of life?

Meursault’s life must be lived with a passionate enjoyment to the fullest.