In his book-length essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus presents a philosophy that contests philosophy itself.
Other Works Cited 1. Key Themes of Existentialism Although a highly diverse tradition of thought, seven themes can be Existentialism philosophy of albert camus that provide some sense of overall unity.
Here, these themes will be briefly introduced; they can then provide us with an intellectual framework within which to discuss exemplary figures within the history of existentialism.
Philosophy as a Way of Life Philosophy should not be thought of primarily either as an attempt to investigate and understand the self or the world, or as a special occupation that concerns only a few. Rather, philosophy must be thought of as fully integrated within life.
To be sure, there may need to be professional philosophers, who develop an elaborate set of methods and concepts Sartre makes this point frequently but life can be lived philosophically without a technical knowledge of philosophy.
Existentialist thinkers tended to identify two historical antecedents for this notion. First, the ancient Greeks, and particularly the figure of Socrates but also the Stoics and Epicureans. In this, the existentialists were hardly unusual.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the rapid expansion of industrialisation and advance in technology were often seen in terms of an alienation of the human from nature or from a properly natural way of living for example, thinkers of German and English romanticism.
The second influence on thinking of philosophy as a way of life was German Idealism after Kant. Partly as a response to the 18th century Enlightenment, and under the influence of the Neoplatonists, Schelling and Hegel both thought of philosophy as an activity that is an integral part of the history of human beings, rather than outside of life and the world, looking on.
Later in the 19th century, Marx famously criticised previous philosophy by saying that the point of philosophy is not to know things — even to know things about activity — but to change them. The concept of philosophy as a way of life manifests itself in existentialist thought in a number of ways.
Let us give several examples, to which we will return in the sections that follow. First, the existentialists often undertook a critique of modern life in terms of the specialisation of both manual and intellectual labour. One consequence of this is that many existentialist thinkers experimented with different styles or genres of writing in order to escape the effects of this specialisation.
For Kierkegaard, for example, the fundamental truths of my existence are not representations — not, that is, ideas, propositions or symbols the meaning of which can be separated from their origin.
Rather, the truths of existence are immediately lived, felt and acted. Likewise, for Nietzsche and Heidegger, it is essential to recognise that the philosopher investigating human existence is, him or herself, an existing human.
Third, the nature of life itself is a perennial existentialist concern and, more famously in Heidegger and in Camusalso the significance of death. Anxiety here has two important implications. Second, anxiety also stands for a form of existence that is recognition of being on its own.
Alternatively, it might be a more specifically theological claim: Finally, being on its own might signify the uniqueness of human existence, and thus the fact that it cannot understand itself in terms of other kinds of existence Heidegger and Sartre.
As we shall see, the authentic being would be able to recognise and affirm the nature of existence we shall shortly specify some of the aspects of this, such as absurdity and freedom. Not, though, recognise the nature of existence as an intellectual fact, disengaged from life; but rather, the authentic being lives in accordance with this nature.
The notion of authenticity is sometimes seen as connected to individualism. However, many existentialists see individualism as a historical and cultural trend for example Nietzscheor dubious political value Camusrather than a necessary component of authentic existence. Individualism tends to obscure the particular types of collectivity that various existentialists deem important.
For many existentialists, the conditions of the modern world make authenticity especially difficult.Albert Camus (–) was a journalist, editor and editorialist, playwright and director, novelist and author of short stories, political essayist and activist—and, although he more than once denied it, a philosopher.
Camus compared existentialism to “philosophical suicide,” causing followers to “deify what crushes them” – saying, in effect, that they turn negation into a religion. Camus in turn had a religion of his own – a quasi-pagan quasi-Greek reverence for nature. Albert Camus (—) Albert Camus was a French-Algerian journalist, playwright, novelist, philosophical essayist, and Nobel laureate.
From the beginning existentialism saw itself in this activist way (and this provided the basis for the most serious disagreements among French existentialists such as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Camus, many of which were fought out in the pages of the journal founded by Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, Les Temps Modernes).
Albert Camus (/ k æ ˈ m uː /; French: [albɛʁ kamy] (listen); 7 November – 4 January ) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist.
His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. Albert Camus was a French-Algerian journalist and novelist whose literary work is regarded as a primary source of modern existentialist thought.A principal theme in Camus' novels is the idea that human life is, objectively speaking, meaningless.