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Refusing to Stick to the Subject

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But in a world without rules, one choice is no better than the next. Every move becomes meaningless.

ISBN 13: 9781560007067

Tolstoy came to the only choice left open to him: "I saw that all that was mere pampering of the appetites, and that no meaning could be found in it; but the life of all the working masses…presented itself to me in its real significance. I saw that that was life itself and that the meaning given to this life was truth, and I accepted it. Does the Absurd dictate death?

Religion from Tolstoy to Camus

This problem must be given priority over others. Spread out over the whole length of a life, it restores its majesty to that life.


He would stare it down and shake his fist in defiance: "Suicide is a [cowardly] repudiation…The absurd is his extreme tension [or trial], which he maintains constantly [in mind] by solitary effort, for he knows that in that consciousness and in that day-to-day revolt he gives proof of his only truth, which is defiance. If life is completely devoid of meaning, how could his defiance have meaning?

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How could it be any more than merely an expression of his anger and pride that he alone had the courage to confront the absurd? Camus was connecting to nothing higher than himself. Denying any higher meaning, he tried to give life meaning by rebelling against it. On the other hand, Tolstoy understood that if his life was no more than a chance conglomeration of particles which was doomed to be blown asunder, life could have no meaning, no matter how hard he struggled to invent that meaning.

He confessed, "I want to know the meaning of my life, but the fact that it is a particle of the infinite not only gives it no meaning, but even destroys every possible meaning. In , at the age of 47, Camus died in a car accident.

Religion from Tolstoy to Camus | Walter Kaufmann, ed

Some speculate that this had been his act of resignation to the suicide he had so vigorously rejected. We were not placed here to create our own meaning in isolation from the rest of reality. Qty: Add to cart. Our excellent value books literally don't cost the earth.

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Author Kaufmann, W. Publisher Harper Torchbooks.

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Condition Used - Good. Binding type Paperback. Dust jacket condition No Jacket. Philosophers quibble about trivial, intellectual issues and neglect matters of practical living. But has Camus overlooked the case of Socrates?

Morris Raphael Cohen

Note that the passage above is a very Socratic statement. His whole philosophy, as presented both in his novels and philosophical texts, is based on his contention that the world and human life are, in some sense, absurd. So we need to begin by looking at this notion of absurdity.