Albert Camus


Philosophy p. 5
October 29,1996

Born on November 7, 1913 in Mandoui, Algeria, Albert Camus earned a
worldwide reputation as a novelist and essayist and won the Nobel Prize for
literature in 1957. Though his writings, and in some measure against his will,
he became the leading moral voice of his generation during the 1950\'s. Camus
died at the height of his fame, in an automobile accident near Sens, France on
January 4, 1960.
Camus\'s deepest philosophical interests were in Western philosophy,
among them Socrates, Pascal, Spinoza, and Nietsche. His interest in philosophy
was almost exclusively moral in character. Camus came to the conclusion that
none of the speculative systems of the past could provide and positive guidance
for human life or any guarantee of the validity of human value. Camus also
concluded that suicide is the only serious philosophical problem. He asks
whether it makes any sense to go on living once the meaninglessness of human
life is fully understood.
Camus referred to this meaninglessness as the “absurdity” of life. He
believed that this “absurdity” is the “failure of the world to satisfy the human
demand that it provide a basis for human values-for our personal ideals and for
our judgments of right and wrong.” He maintained that suicide cannot be
regarded as an adequate response to the “experience of absurdity.” He says that
suicide is an admission of incapacity, and such an admission is inconsistent
with that human pride to which Camus openly appeals. Camus states, “there is
nothing equal to the spectacle of human pride.”
Furthermore, Camus also dealt with the topic of revolution in his essay
The Rebel. Camus rejected what he calls “metaphysical revolt,” which he sees as
a “radical refusal of the human condition as such,” resulting either in suicide
or in a “demonic attempt to remake the world in the image of man.”
Although often considered an existentialist, Camus had his own way of
thinking and often disagreed with many existentialist thinkers. Camus was a
brilliant writer as well as a philosopher and although complicated his views
will always be inspiration for further thought.

Category: Philosophy