The Invincible Summer: On Albert Camus' Philosophical Neoclassicism

Sophia 50 (4):577-592 (2011)
What follows is a work of critical reconstruction of Camus' thought. It aims to answer to the wish Camus expressed in his later notebooks, that he at least be read closely. Specifically, I hope to do three things. In Part I, we will show how Camus' famous philosophy of the absurd represents a systematic scepticism whose closest philosophical predecessor is Descartes' method of doubt, and whose consequence, as in Descartes, is the discovery of a single, orienting certainty, on the basis of which Camus would proceed to pass beyond the 'nihilism' that conservative critics continued to level against him (MS 34). Part II will unfold the central tenets of Camus' mature thought of rebellion, and show how Camus' central political claims follow from his para-Cartesian claim to have found an irreducible or 'invincible' basis for a post-metaphysical ethics, consistent with the most thoroughgoing epistemic scepticism. Part III then undertakes to show that the neoclassical rhetoric and positioning Camus claimed for his postwar thought—as a thought of moderation or mesure, and a renewed Greek or Mediterranean naturalism—is more than a stylistic pretension. It represents, so I argue, a singular amalgam of modern and philosophical classical motifs which makes Camus' voice nearly unique in twentieth century ideas, and all the more worth reconsidering today. So let us proceed
Keywords Camus philosophy classicism absurd rebellion moderation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11841-011-0275-z
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,658
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Daniel Berthold (2013). Kierkegaard and Camus: Either/Or? [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (2):137-150.
Raymond D. Boisvert (2011). The Fall. International Philosophical Quarterly 51 (4):467-482.
Ludwig F. Schlecht (2008). “Is Life Worth Living?”. Philosophy and Theology 20 (1/2):227-242.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

23 ( #128,632 of 1,726,239 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,239 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.