Camus' Challenge: The Question of Suicide (Is life worth living)
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Humanistic Psychology (forthcoming)
In the opening essay of The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, Camus states that ‘There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy’ (Camus, 2005: 1). He argues that all the other questions of philosophy, dealing with truth, knowledge, ethics, science, language and so on, are necessarily secondary to this question: ‘I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions’ (Camus, 2005: 2). The meaning of life – why am I here? How am I to live? What is my purpose? – is one of the most enduring questions in philosophy and psychology and it a question confronted by almost every individual at some point in life. This article provides a contemporary reflection on the relevance and validity of Camus’ thought regarding the connection between suicide and the meaning of life.
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