Nihilist lyrics? : nihilism
Full length studies of contemporary literature especially of existentialist and focus on absurdist works – and this involves foregrounding connection between art and There are abundant lyric images that through their sensitive and loving. All three have their origins with the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, who sought to discover how one can live as the individual. Camus, Nietzsche, and Sartre. This latter diagnosis is what I shall refer to as existential nihilism, the denial of meaning and KEYWORDS: existentialism, nihilism, absurdism, Camus, Nietzsche, Sartre, . not be confused or seen as standing in a necessary causal relationship. .. Camus rather lyrical writings and references to the heroes in other stories.
The absurd is a category, and the most developed thought is required to define the Christian absurd accurately and with conceptual correctness. The absurd is a category, the negative criterion, of the divine or of the relationship to the divine.
When the believer has faith, the absurd is not the absurd — faith transforms it, but in every weak moment it is again more or less absurd to him. The passion of faith is the only thing which masters the absurd — if not, then faith is not faith in the strictest sense, but a kind of knowledge. The absurd terminates negatively before the sphere of faith, which is a sphere by itself. To a third person the believer relates himself by virtue of the absurd; so must a third person judge, for a third person does not have the passion of faith.
Johannes de Silentio has never claimed to be a believer; just the opposite, he has explained that he is not a believer — in order to illuminate faith negatively. Just as Abraham is about to kill Isaac, an angel stops Abraham from doing so.
Kierkegaard believes that through virtue of the absurd, Abraham, defying all reason and ethical duties "you cannot act"got back his son and reaffirmed his faith "where I have to act". Exploring the forms of despair, Kierkegaard examines the type of despair known as defiance.
Absurdism: Examples and Definition | Philosophy Terms
According to Kierkegaard in his autobiography The Point of View of My Work as an Authormost of his pseudonymous writings are not necessarily reflective of his own opinions.
Nevertheless, his work anticipated many absurdist themes and provided its theoretical background. Albert Camus[ edit ] Though the notion of the 'absurd' pervades all Albert Camus 's writing, The Myth of Sisyphus is his chief work on the subject.
In it, Camus considers absurdity as a confrontation, an opposition, a conflict or a "divorce" between two ideals. He continues that there are specific human experiences evoking notions of absurdity. Such a realization or encounter with the absurd leaves the individual with a choice: He concludes that recognition is the only defensible option. The absurd encounter can also arouse a "leap of faith," a term derived from one of Kierkegaard's early pseudonyms, Johannes de Silentio although the term was not used by Kierkegaard himself where one believes that there is more than the rational life aesthetic or ethical.
To take a "leap of faith," one must act with the "virtue of the absurd" as Johannes de Silentio put itwhere a suspension of the ethical may need to exist. This faith has no expectations, but is a flexible power initiated by a recognition of the absurd. Although at some point, one recognizes or encounters the existence of the Absurd and, in response, actively ignores it.
However, Camus states that because the leap of faith escapes rationality and defers to abstraction over personal experience, the leap of faith is not absurd. Camus considers the leap of faith as "philosophical suicide," rejecting both this and physical suicide. If the absurd experience is truly the realization that the universe is fundamentally devoid of absolutes, then we as individuals are truly free.
The freedom of humans is thus established in a human's natural ability and opportunity to create their own meaning and purpose; to decide or think for him- or herself. The individual becomes the most precious unit of existence, representing a set of unique ideals that can be characterized as an entire universe in its own right. 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. But why, we may ask, is hope an evil? Nietzsche explains that humans have come to see hope as their greatest good, while Zeus, knowing better, has meant it as the greatest source of trouble. For Camus, following this reading of Nietzsche closely, the conventional solution is in fact the problem: If religious hope is based on the mistaken belief that death, in the sense of utter and total extinction body and soul, is not inevitable, it leads us down a blind alley.
Worse, because it teaches us to look away from life toward something to come afterwards, such religious hope kills a part of us, for example, the realistic attitude we need to confront the vicissitudes of life.
But what then is the appropriate path? The young Camus is neither a skeptic nor a relativist here. His discussion rests on the self-evidence of sensuous experience.
The Difference Between Existentialism, Nihilism, and Absurdism
He advocates precisely what he takes Christianity to abjure: This entails, first, abandoning all hope for an afterlife, indeed rejecting thinking about it. We might think that facing our total annihilation would be bitter, but for Camus this leads us in a positive direction: Camus puts both sides of his argument into a single statement: Taken together, and contrary to an unverifiable faith in God and afterlife, these are what one has and one knows: Only if we accept that Nietzsche is right, that God is dead and there is only nothingness after we die, will we then fully experience—feel, taste, touch, see, and smell—the joys of our bodies and the physical world.
Thus the sensuous and lyrical side of these essays, their evocative character, is central to the argument. Or rather, because Camus is promoting intense, joyous, physical experience as opposed to a self-abnegating religious life, rather than developing an argument he asserts that these experiences are the right response. But they suggest what philosophy is for Camus and how he conceives its relationship to literary expression.
In a sense, it is indeed my life that I am staking here, a life that tastes of warm stone, that is full of the signs of the sea and the rising song of the crickets. The breeze is cool and the sky blue.
I love this life with abandon and wish to speak of it boldly: Yet people have often told me: It is to conquer this that I need my strength and my resources.
Everything here leaves me intact, I surrender nothing of myself, and don no mask: N, 69 The intense and glistening present tells us that we can fully experience and appreciate life only on the condition that we no longer try to avoid our ultimate and absolute death. Suicide, Absurdity and Happiness: These were completed and sent off from Algeria to the Paris publisher in September Although Camus would have preferred to see them appear together, even in a single volume, the publisher for both commercial reasons and because of the paper shortage caused by war and occupation, released The Stranger in June and The Myth of Sisyphus in October.
Camus kept working on the play, which finally appeared in book form two years later Lottman, — Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. A proper, philosophical question might rather be: For him, it seems clear that the primary result of philosophy is action, not comprehension. Camus sees this question of suicide as a natural response to an underlying premise, namely that life is absurd in a variety of ways.
As we have seen, both the presence and absence of life i. But Camus also thinks it absurd to try to know, understand, or explain the world, for he sees the attempt to gain rational knowledge as futile. Here Camus pits himself against science and philosophy, dismissing the claims of all forms of rational analysis: Accepting absurdity as the mood of the times, he asks above all whether and how to live in the face of it.
But he does not argue this question either, and rather chooses to demonstrate the attitude towards life that would deter suicide. In other words, the main concern of the book is to sketch ways of living our lives so as to make them worth living despite their being meaningless. But if this temptation precedes what is usually considered philosophical reasoning, how to answer it?
In order to get to the bottom of things while avoiding arguing for the truth of his statements, he depicts, enumerates, and illustrates.
Appealing to common experience, he tries to render the flavor of the absurd with images, metaphors, and anecdotes that capture the experiential level he regards as lying prior to philosophy. As this continues, one slowly becomes fully conscious and senses the absurd. Despite his intentions, Camus cannot avoid asserting what he believes to be an objective truth: Turning to experiences that are seemingly obvious to large numbers of people who share the absurd sensibility, he declares sweepingly: Our efforts to understand them lead nowhere.
Avi Sagi suggests that in claiming this Camus is not speaking as an irrationalist—which is, after all, how he regards the existentialists—but as someone trying to rationally understand the limits of reason Sagi59— For Camus the problem is that by demanding meaning, order, and unity, we seek to go beyond those limits and pursue the impossible.
We will never understand, and we will die despite all our efforts. There are two obvious responses to our frustrations: By hope Camus means just what he described in Nuptials, the religion-inspired effort to imagine and live for a life beyond this life. What is the Camusean alternative to suicide or hope?
In short, he recommends a life without consolation, but instead one characterized by lucidity and by acute consciousness of and rebellion against its mortality and its limits.
At the same time Camus argues against the specific philosophical current with which Nietzsche is often linked as a precursor, and to which he himself is closest—existentialism. The Myth of Sisyphus is explicitly written against existentialists such as Shestov, Kierkegaard, Jaspers, and Heidegger, as well as against the phenomenology of Husserl. Camus shares their starting point, which he regards as the fact that they all somehow testify to the absurdity of the human condition.
In the process, the absurdity of Nausea becomes the contingency of Being and Nothingness, the fact that humans and things are simply there with no explanation or reason.Absurdism, Existentialism and Nihilism
Having rooted human existence in such contingency, Sartre goes on to describe other fundamental structures of existence, core human projects, and characteristic patterns of behavior, including freedom and bad faith, all of which arise on this basis. For Sartre absurdity is obviously a fundamental ontological property of existence itself, frustrating us but not restricting our understanding.
For Camus, on the other hand, absurdity is not a property of existence as such, but is an essential feature of our relationship with the world. Camus, on the contrary, builds an entire worldview on his central assumption that absurdity is an unsurpassable relationship between humans and their world Aronson As discussed above, Camus views the world as irrational, which means that it is not understandable through reason.
And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Gospel of Thomas c. I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.
Whoever shall find the interpretation of these words shall not taste of death. Saying 1 The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the place of lifeand he will live. For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same. Saying 4 Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest. Saying 5 Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man.
Saying 7 I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.
Saying 10 This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. In the days when you consumed what is dead, you made it what is alive. When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one you became two. But when you become two, what will you do? Saying 11 When you go into any land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what they will set before you, and heal the sick among them.
For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from your mouth — it is that which will defile you.
Saying 14 If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty.