Philosophie de San Agustín (French Edition)

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His address on "The New Mediterranean Culture" represents Camus' most systematic statement on his views at this time. In , Camus wrote a stinging series of articles for Alger Republicain on the atrocious living conditions of the inhabitants of the Kabylie highlands, advocating for economic, educational and political reforms as a matter of emergency. When the Algerian War began in , Camus was confronted with a moral dilemma.

He identified with the Pieds-Noirs such as his own parents and defended the French government's actions against the revolt. He argued that the Algerian uprising was an integral part of the 'new Arab imperialism ' led by Egypt and an 'anti-Western' offensive orchestrated by Russia to 'encircle Europe' and 'isolate the United States'. During the war he advocated a civil truce that would spare the civilians, which was rejected by both sides, who regarded it as foolish. Behind the scenes, he began to work for imprisoned Algerians who faced the death penalty.

When he spoke to students at the University of Stockholm , he defended his apparent inactivity in the Algerian question; he stated that he was worried about what might happen to his mother, who still lived in Algeria. This led to further ostracism by French left-wing intellectuals. At the time of his death, Camus was working on an incomplete novel with a strong biographical component titled The First Man. The publication of this book in has sparked a widespread reconsideration of Camus' allegedly unrepentant colonialism in the work of figures such as David Carroll in the English-speaking world.

As one of the forefathers of existentialism, Camus focused most of his philosophy around existential questions. The absurdity of life and its inevitable ending death is highlighted in the very famous opening of the novel The Stranger Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure. He believed that the absurd — life being void of meaning, or man's inability to know that meaning if it were to exist — was something that man should embrace. He argued that this crisis of self could cause a man to commit "philosophical suicide"; choosing to believe in external sources that give life what he would describe as false meaning.

He argued that religion was the main culprit. If a man chose to believe in religion — that the meaning of life was to ascend to heaven, or some similar afterlife, that he committed philosophical suicide by trying to escape the absurd. Many writers have addressed the Absurd, each with his or her own interpretation of what the Absurd is and what comprises its importance.


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For example, Sartre recognizes the absurdity of individual experience, while Kierkegaard explains that the absurdity of certain religious truths prevents us from reaching God rationally. Camus regretted the continued reference to himself as a "philosopher of the absurd". To distinguish his ideas, scholars sometimes refer to the Paradox of the Absurd, when referring to "Camus' Absurd". His early thoughts appeared in his first collection of essays, L'Envers et l'endroit Betwixt and Between in Absurd themes were expressed with more sophistication in his second collection of essays, Noces Nuptials , in In these essays Camus reflects on the experience of the Absurd.

He also wrote a play about Caligula , a Roman Emperor, pursuing an absurd logic. The play was not performed until The turning point in Camus's attitude to the Absurd occurs in a collection of four letters to an anonymous German friend, written between July and July Camus presents the reader with dualisms such as happiness and sadness, dark and light, life and death, etc.

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He emphasizes the fact that happiness is fleeting and that the human condition is one of mortality; for Camus, this is cause for a greater appreciation for life and happiness. In Le Mythe , dualism becomes a paradox: While we can live with a dualism I can accept periods of unhappiness, because I know I will also experience happiness to come , we cannot live with the paradox I think my life is of great importance, but I also think it is meaningless.

In Le Mythe , Camus investigates our experience of the Absurd and asks how we live with it. Our life must have meaning for us to value it. If we accept that life has no meaning and therefore no value, should we kill ourselves? In Le Mythe , Camus suggests that 'creation of meaning' would entail a logical leap or a kind of philosophical suicide in order to find psychological comfort. Creation of meaning is not a viable alternative but a logical leap and an evasion of the problem. He gives examples of how others would seem to make this kind of leap. The alternative option, namely suicide, would entail another kind of leap, where one attempts to kill absurdity by destroying one of its terms the human being.

Camus points out, however, that there is no more meaning in death than there is in life, and that it simply evades the problem yet again. Camus concludes that we must instead "entertain" both death and the absurd, while never agreeing to their terms.


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  6. Caligula ends up admitting his absurd logic was wrong and is killed by an assassination he has deliberately brought about. However, while Camus possibly suggests that Caligula's absurd reasoning is wrong, the play's anti-hero does get the last word, as the author similarly exalts Meursault's final moments. Camus made a significant contribution to a viewpoint of the Absurd, and always rejected nihilism as a valid response. If nothing had any meaning, you would be right.

    But there is something that still has a meaning. Camus's understanding of the Absurd promotes public debate; his various offerings entice us to think about the Absurd and offer our own contribution. Concepts such as cooperation, joint effort and solidarity are of key importance to Camus, though they are most likely sources of "relative" versus "absolute" meaning. In The Rebel , Camus identifies rebellion or rather, the values indicated by rebellion as a basis for human solidarity.

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    When he rebels, a man identifies himself with other men and so surpasses himself, and from this point of view human solidarity is metaphysical. But for the moment we are only talking of the kind of solidarity that is born in chains. Despite his opposition to the label, Camus addressed one of the fundamental questions of existentialism: Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy.

    All other questions follow from that. Throughout his life, Camus spoke out against and actively opposed totalitarianism in its many forms. On the French collaboration with Nazi occupiers he wrote: Camus publicly reversed himself and became a lifelong opponent of capital punishment. Camus's well-known falling out with Sartre is linked to his opposition to authoritarian communism.

    Camus detected a reflexive totalitarianism in the mass politics espoused by Sartre in the name of Marxism. Camus continued to speak out against the atrocities of the Soviet Union , a sentiment captured in his speech The Blood of the Hungarians , commemorating the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution , an uprising crushed in a bloody assault by the Red Army.

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    One further important, often neglected component of Camus' philosophical and literary persona was his love of classical Greek thought and literature, or philhellenism. This love looks back to his youthful encounters with Friedrich Nietzsche , his teacher Jean Grenier , and his own sense of a "Mediterranean" identity, based in a common experience of sunshine, beaches, and living in proximity to the near-Eastern world. The culmination of the latter work defends a "midday thought" based in classical moderation or mesure , in opposition to the tendency of modern political ideologies to exclusively valorise race or class, and to dream of a total redemptive revolution.

    Camus' conception of classical moderation also has deep roots in his lifelong love of Greek tragic theatre, about which he gave an intriguing address in Athens in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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    Retrieved 23 February Retrieved 20 November Albert Camus and Maria Casares". Retrieved 13 April Los Angeles Review of Books. From the Absurd to Revolt. Tarrou's account of the death penalty in TP. Archived from the original on 8 July Retrieved 15 November Archived from the original on 13 May Archived from the original on 2 December Retrieved 5 October This one's had a good start born in the middle of a move. Retrieved 21 December Camus and His Women. Archived from the original on 7 December Retrieved 1 December The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 3 August Retrieved 21 August Albert Camus the Algerian: The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays.

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