David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Sophia 50 (4):543-559 (2011)
Camus published an essay entitled ‘Nietzsche and Nihilism,’ which was later incorporated into The Rebel . Camus' aim was to assess Nietzsche's response to the problem of nihilism. My aim is to do the same with Camus. The paper explores Camus' engagement with nihilism through its two major modalities: with respect to the individual and the question of suicide in The Myth of Sisyphus , and with respect to the collective and the question of murder in The Rebel . While a Nietzschean influence thoroughly suffuses both books, it is in the second that Camus' most explicit, and most critical, engagement with the German philosopher takes place. The crux of Camus' critique of Nietzsche is that the absolute affirmation of existence he proposes as a response to nihilism cannot say ‘no’ to murder. In the terms of Camus' discussion in The Rebel , Nietzsche's philosophy is thus culpable in the straying of rebellion from its own foundations and its slide into bloody revolution. First, the paper argues that Camus' criticisms of Nietzsche are misplaced. Camus focuses his analysis on sections of the problematic text The Will to Power and misses important sections of Nietzsche's published texts which in fact support the condemnation of revolution which is the project of The Rebel . However, the paper argues that Camus moves beyond Nietzsche in radically democratizing the response to nihilism. While Nietzsche's hopes for the creation of meaning are focused on exceptional individuals, Camus insists that any response to nihilism needs to be accessible to the average person. Such a move is laudable, but it raises a number of questions and challenges regarding the type of problem nihilism is, and how these might be addressed
|Keywords||Albert Camus Nihilism Friedrich Nietzsche Absurdity Thomas Nagel|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Martin Heidegger (1998). Pathmarks. Cambridge University Press.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1996). Human, All Too Human. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Mordechai Gordon (forthcoming). Teachers as Absurd Heroes: Camus’ Sisyphus and the Promise of Rebellion. Educational Philosophy and Theory:1-16.
Similar books and articles
Robert C. Solomon (1999). No Excuses. Teaching Co..
Joseph McBride (1992). Albert Camus: Philosopher and Littérateur. St. Martin's Press.
Kathleen O'Dwyer (forthcoming). Camus' Challenge: The Question of Suicide (Is Life Worth Living). Journal of Humanistic Psychology.
Russell Grigg (2011). The Trial of Albert Camus. Sophia 50 (4):593-602.
Michael Allen Gillespie (1995). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press.
Matthew Sharpe (2011). The Invincible Summer: On Albert Camus' Philosophical Neoclassicism. Sophia 50 (4):577-592.
Nadeem J. Z. Hussain (2012). Metaethics and Nihilism in Reginster's The Affirmation of Life. Journal of Nietzsche Studies 43 (1):99-117.
Daniel Shaw (1985). Absurdity and Suicide. Philosophy Research Archives 11:209-223.
Daniel Berthold (2013). Kierkegaard and Camus: Either/Or? [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (2):137-150.
Ashley Woodward (2013). Deleuze, Nietzsche, and the Overcoming of Nihilism. Continental Philosophy Review 46 (1):115-147.
Manuel Dries (2008). Towards Adualism: Becoming and Nihilism in Nietzsche’s Philosophy. In M. Dries (ed.), Nietzsche on Time and History. Walter de Gruyter
Ashley Woodward (2002). Nihilism and the Postmodern in Vattimo's Nietzsche. Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 6:51-67.
Added to index2011-09-19
Total downloads84 ( #50,331 of 1,907,142 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #60,065 of 1,907,142 )
How can I increase my downloads?