Philosophical Frontiers 4 (1):49-58 (2009)

Guy Bennett-Hunter
University of Edinburgh
What are we to make of works of art whose apparent point is to convince us of the meaninglessness and absurdity of human existence? I examine, in this paper, the attempt of Albert Camus to provide philosophical justification of art in the face of the supposed fact of absurdity and note its failure as such with specific reference to Sartre’s criticism. Despite other superficial similarities, I contrast Camus’s concept of the absurd with that of his ‘existentialist’ colleagues, including Sartre, and suggest that the latter concept is more philosophically viable. I conclude that existential phenomenology consequently provides a more promising philosophical justification for artistic creation in the light of the more viable conception of absurdity.
Keywords aesthetics  Sartre  Camus  existentialism  phenomenology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
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

Phenomenology of Perception.Aron Gurwitsch, M. Merleau-Ponty & Colin Smith - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):417.
The Origin of the Work of Art.Gregory Schufreider - 2013 - In Francois Raffoul & Eric S. Nelson (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Heidegger. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 199.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Camus on the Value of Art.Thomas Pölzler - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):365-376.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
667 ( #6,771 of 2,330,890 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
42 ( #14,091 of 2,330,890 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes