Life is Absurd! Exploring Albert Camus’ Rebellious Philosophy


“What is the absurd? For Algerian French existential writer Albert Camus, our desire for meaning in a meaningless universe arises in the absurd. In this article, we explore Camus’ philosophy of the absurd through a re-envisioned account of the Greek myth of Sisyphus, as well as his ideas about rebellion and what it means to be an existential hero. Alternative accounts are discussed to inspire you to form your own philosophy of the absurd. … Taking inspiration from existential writers and philosophers of the likes of Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus’ writing explored existential themes of disillusionment and alienation in a war-torn period in which people felt abandoned (by God) and without meaning. His major contribution to philosophy is his views on ‘the absurd,’ a nihilistic outlook on life which he explored in his essays, novels and plays. To understand what ‘the absurd’ is, we must first look at what Albert Camus’ considered to be an absurd existence. To do so he turns our attention to The Myth of Sisyphus in an essay published in a collection of essays under the same title. Sisyphus is a Greek mythological figure who became infamous for cheating death, twice. As a punishment for breaking the natural order, Zeus condemned Sisyphus to roll a boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down again. He was condemned to repeat this meaningless and arbitrary task for eternity. Camus’ likens Sisyphus’ plight to our own existence. On one hand, we desire for and search for meaning in our lives. Yet, on the other hand, the universe offers a mute response. It is this combination of our desire for meaning and it being met with no satisfactory (or absolute) answer that arises in the absurd. Some of us know the feeling all too well. We find ourselves happy enough in our daily routine until one day the blinds collapse and we are left peering out at a world that makes no sense. Philosophers, artists and poets have long since asked the question: what is it all for? For Camus, the universe provides no answer. It is our sense of this predicament that Camus’ likens to a kind of awakening. So how should we react to the absurd? …”
The Collector
YouTube: Albert Camus – How To Live In The Present (Philosophy of Absurdism) 23:24

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