Camus on Absurdity

Author: Steven Luper (Trinity University)

In the preface to his book, Camus says that Myth of Sisyphus was meant to resolve the problem of suicide, which he equated with the question of whether suicide is the right response to the absurdity of life. His main thesis is that life is absurd but suicide is not the right response. In what follows I will briefly sketch his view of the absurd and how we ought to respond to it. Unfortunately, as will emerge, I cannot endorse his position. 

Absurdity

Camus says that the world gives neither itself nor us a meaning or a value. We might say that this makes the world factually absurd. But when Camus explains how he himself will use the term “absurd,” it becomes clear that he does not equate it with factual absurdity.

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