It is as clear as the glassy water or is he saying that we are transparent to God? I once read this stanza as involving condensation—the water that goes over the fall will eventually rise again to make future waterfalls, just as the falls at Yosemite are renewed by snow and then snow melt every year. The last stanza speaks to God consigning us to be cleansed. Although we, like the waterfall, hurtle over cliffs and are dashed on the rocks below, the experience frees us from our tainted lives.
In his book-length essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus presents a philosophy that contests philosophy itself.
This essay belongs squarely in the philosophical tradition of existentialism but Camus denied being an existentialist. Both The Myth of Sisyphus and his other philosophical work, The Rebel, are systematically skeptical of conclusions about the meaning of life, yet both works assert objectively valid answers to key questions about how to live.
Though Camus seemed modest when describing his intellectual ambitions, he was confident enough as a philosopher to articulate not only his own philosophy but also a critique of religion and a fundamental critique of modernity. While rejecting the very idea of a philosophical system, Camus constructed his own original edifice of ideas around the key terms of absurdity and rebellion, aiming to resolve the life-or-death issues that motivated him.
Since existence itself has no meaning, we must learn to bear an irresolvable emptiness. This paradoxical situation, then, between our impulse to ask ultimate questions and the impossibility of achieving any adequate answer, is what Camus calls the absurd.
Like Sisyphus, humans cannot help but continue to ask after the meaning of life, only to see our answers tumble back down.
What role is left for rational analysis and argument? If life has no fundamental purpose or meaning that reason can articulate, we cannot help asking about why we continue to live and to reason. Might not Silenus be right in declaring that it would have been better not to have been born, or to die as soon as possible?
Was Camus actually a philosopher? This was not merely a public posture, since we find the same thought in his notebooks of this period: Still, Jean-Paul Sartre saw immediately that Camus was undertaking important philosophical work, and in his review of The Stranger in relation to Sisyphus, had no trouble connecting Camus with Pascal, Rousseau, and Nietzsche Sartre In the years since, the apparent unsystematic, indeed, anti-systematic, character of his philosophy, has meant that relatively few scholars have appreciated its full depth and complexity.
They have more often praised his towering literary achievements and standing as a political moralist while pointing out his dubious claims and problematic arguments see Sherman It is not just a matter of giving a philosophical reading of this playwright, journalist, essayist, and novelist but of taking his philosophical writings seriously—exploring their premises, their evolution, their structure, and their coherence.
To do so is to see that his writing contains more than a mood and more than images and sweeping, unsupported assertions, although it contains many of both. Camus takes his skepticism as far as possible as a form of methodical doubt—that is, he begins from a presumption of skepticism—until he finds the basis for a non-skeptical conclusion.
And he builds a unique philosophical construction, whose premises are often left unstated and which is not always argued clearly, but which develops in distinct stages over the course of his brief lifetime.
Nevertheless, his philosophy explicitly rejects religion as one of its foundations. Not always taking an openly hostile posture towards religious belief—though he certainly does in the novels The Stranger and The Plague—Camus centers his work on choosing to live without God.
Yet these experiences are presented as the solution to a philosophical problem, namely finding the meaning of life in the face of death. They appear alongside, and reveal themselves to be rooted in, his first extended meditation on ultimate questions. In these essays, Camus sets two attitudes in opposition.
The first is what he regards as religion-based fears. Against this conventional Christian perspective Camus asserts what he regards as self-evident facts: Without mentioning it, Camus draws a conclusion from these facts, namely that the soul is not immortal.
Here, as elsewhere in his philosophical writing, he commends to his readers to face a discomforting reality squarely and without flinching, but he does not feel compelled to present reasons or evidence.
If not with religion, where then does wisdom lie? There is nothing but this world, this life, the immediacy of the present. Hope is the error Camus wishes to avoid.Enneagram Styles of Famous People Compiled by Thomas Condon Famous Ones Actress Jane Alexander, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Historian Stephen Ambrose, the culture of the Amish, Julie Andrews, Hanan Ashrawi, St.
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1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. 6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north.
Dive into our treasure trove of free student and teacher guides to every book imaginable, and then some. Post-structuralism, sometimes referred as the French theory, is associated with the works of a series of midth-century French continental philosophers and critical theorists who came to international prominence in the s and s.
The term is defined by its relationship to the system before it—structuralism (an intellectual movement developed in Europe from the early to midth century).