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Absurdism

An account of how Camus' beliefs influenced his writing.
by

Nadeen Boykin

on 25 January 2012

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Transcript of Absurdism

Absurdism
Definition
A philosophical perspective which holds that the efforts of humanity to find meaning or rational explanation in the universe ultimately fail (and, hence, are absurd) because no such meaning exists. Implies a tragic tone and feelings of frustration that arise out of the contradiction between the human quest for the meaning of life and its inaccessibility (newworldencyclopedia.org).
Absurd = humanly impossible, not logically impossible
Soren Kierkegaard
Said that the absurd man:
rejects suicide (existence)
rejects help from God or a higher power
accepts his absurd condition
Albert Camus
Absurdity is the conflict between looking for purpose/meaning/significance and the indifference of the universe.
This realization leaves humans with 3 choices:
suicide
a "leap of faith"
acceptance
Suicide
An admission that life is too much.
A leap of faith
Philosophical suicide b/c it suspends rationality
Acceptance
The only "defensible" solution. "The freedom of man is, thus, established in man's natural ability and opportunity to create his own meaning and purpose, to decide himself."
The self is its own universe.
"The struggle itself...is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."
The Myth of Sisyphus
Conclusion:
What is the meaning of life?
It is the decision to live in the present with passion.
There is no "humanly comprehensible purpose of God;" a faith in Him is absurd.
BUT because of the FREEDOM in absurdism, one may choose faith for an invented purpose.
The mystic lives with faith.
The absurd hero rejects that "hope".
Absurdist
Literature:

May not have logical plot.
Does not have characters who have clear identities or distinguishing characteristics
(e-notes).

Has characters that may seem to lack ambition, motivation, purpose, and common mores.
How might society judge absurdists?
It is the decision to live in the present with passion.
What is Absurdism?

How is Absurdism different from Existentialism?

How does the Myth of Sisyphus help explain Absurdism?
Check for Understanding:
Full transcript