Finding the Good in Grief: What Augustine Knew but Meursault Couldn't

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1):91-105 (2017)
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Meursault, the protagonist of Camus' The Stranger, is unable to grieve, a fact that ultimately leads to his condemnation and execution. Given the emotional distresses involved in grief, should we envy Camus or pity him? I defend the latter conclusion. As St. Augustine seemed to dimly recognize, the pains of grief are integral to the process of bereavement, a process that both motivates and provides a distinctive opportunity to attain the good of self-knowledge.

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Michael Cholbi
University of Edinburgh


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