By Patrick Hayden (auth.)
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Additional resources for Camus and the Challenge of Political Thought: Between Despair and Hope
The antinomical structure of the human condition means that humans need to think, choose and act one way or another, thereby excluding other thoughts, choices and acts. Camus understands that this intimate link between living and choosing can serve as a motivating force to action and creation, or it can lead to dogmatism, paralysis, frustration, cynicism and destruction. A person may attempt to escape the disappointment of the absurd world by building ‘a mansion of ideas and forms’ (Camus 1991: 52), by placing faith in ‘higher’ authorities both religious and secular, by adhering to a single ideology with total conviction, and even by committing suicide.
0004 Camus and the Challenge of Political Thought the continuity of Meursault’s situation is interrupted, which exposes him to his own otherness and gradually leads him to glimpse differently, however fleetingly, upon his manner of being-in-the-world. This conversion of fluid and ambiguous relationships between contrasting elements was already a central motif in Camus’s early writings, such as ‘La Maison Mauresque’ (‘The Moorish House’): ‘For a long time I watched the lights of a steamship in the dark waters.
The absurd always has both a negative and a positive character; both poles are necessary for existence to have significance. The relations of consonance and dissonance are entangled together at the limit, then, where human existence, freedom and choice are situated within the surrounding world. ’), Hannah Arendt (1994: 165) underscores that the emphasis on the self in existentialist philosophy is a product of the modern individual’s experience of estrangement from ‘the world’s discomfiting nature’, of the feeling of not belonging to the world or of being wrenched out of a familiar context.
Camus and the Challenge of Political Thought: Between Despair and Hope by Patrick Hayden (auth.)