Cosmic Spirit 1:6. Translated by alexis karpouzos (2024)
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Albert Camus, a French-Algerian writer and philosopher, is renowned for his unique contribution to the philosophical realm, particularly through his exploration of the Absurd. His philosophy is often associated with existentialism, despite his own rejection of the label. Camus’ works delve into the human condition and the search for meaning in a seemingly indifferent universe. The Absurd and the Search for Meaning At the heart of Camus’ philosophy is the concept of the Absurd, which arises from the conflict between the human desire for significance, order, and clarity on one hand, and the silent, irrational, and indifferent world on the other1. This tension is a fundamental aspect of the human experience, as individuals continually seek purpose in life despite the universe’s lack of inherent meaning. Revolt as a Response to the Absurd Camus argues that the appropriate response to the Absurd is not suicide or despair, but rather revolt. This revolt is a persistent and courageous confrontation with the Absurd, and it involves a refusal to succumb to nihilism, a rejection of false hopes, and the continuous quest for meaning1. It is through this act of revolt that individuals affirm their own existence and derive a sense of personal freedom and identity. Camus’ Literary Expression of Philosophy Camus’ philosophical ideas are intricately woven into his literary works. Novels such as “The Stranger” (L’Étranger), “The Plague” (La Peste), and “The Fall” (La Chute) not only tell compelling stories but also serve as vehicles for his philosophical thought. In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Camus uses the Greek mythological figure Sisyphus, condemned to eternally roll a boulder up a hill only for it to roll back down, as a metaphor for the human condition. Sisyphus, aware of his futile task, chooses to embrace his labor, thus embodying the spirit of revolt and finding happiness in the struggle itself.

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Alexis Karpouzos
International Philosophy Center In Athens


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