The Philosophy of Albert Camus

Life is Absurd. How to Live it? [The Philosophy of Albert Camus]


Albert Camus believes that life has no inherent meaning - and therefore absurd. He thinks that this state frees us from the 'shekels of hope' and lets us experience our life more fully.

Kierkegaard wanted a purpose that he can life and die for. He thought religion was the answer - and we should embrace it ever if it might be wrong.

Camus thought of this as philosophical suicide. Acc. to him, life is ultimately meaningless - and whatever meaning we attribute to it is but constructs of our mind.

Only honest observation is that universe has no meaning - there is no divine plan, things happen randomly. Hence life is absurd.

The problem is humans are rational beings - and we search for meaning in a universe that has none. That is what he mean by absurd.

Many people has exploited our need for meaning by making ready made answers - these can be religions or even secular philosophies.

Another possible solution to this absurd is physical suicide. Acc. to Camus, that is the only major philosophical question.

We must ask our-self "Is a hopeless life, in a universe that transcends meaning, necessarily wrong." Acc. to Camus, that is fine. Where there is no meaning enforced on us, we are free from the expectations. This will let us focus fully on our life. We should rebel against the absurd by finding meaning for ourselves. His idea of an ideal life...

"What he demands of himself is to live solely with what he knows, to accommodate himself to what is and to bring in nothing that is not certain. He is told that nothing is. But this at least is a certainty."

He want people to live in the present moment - with out any hope/expectations of the future. For him we all live like Sisyphis. We must imagine sisyphis as happy.

There is a problem when you look for the 'true' meaning. We don't need to look for true - we just need useful. For that, any meaning that will drive you, will motivate you is good enough. And it dosen't have to be an absolute meaning - you can change it as you grow, as understand yourself and the world better