The Stranger: Adventures at zero point

Educational Philosophy and Theory 45 (11):1116-1132 (2013)
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Abstract

In one of his notebooks, Albert Camus describes, The stranger, The myth of Sisyphus, Caligula and The misunderstanding as pertaining to a series; a schema that suggests that if one were to write about one of these literary works, one would be writing about parts of a whole unless one also engaged with the others. Whether one does this or not, may or may not reflect the nature of the relationship one sees these texts as sharing. The stranger and The myth of Sisyphus share something unique: they are both as Camus describes them, zero points; a zero point here being understood as the zero point at which one thinks about one’s existence. This article begins with a reflection upon the relative philosophical value of understanding The myth of Sisyphus as a work of art and then occupies itself with how this understanding might provide an opportunity for self-reflection when reading The stranger. The reading of The myth of Sisyphus is not used so much to better understand Meursault and his story but to invert our interpretative methodology such that it is possible to speak to the reader as a significant actor. The novel is thought of in terms of the gifting of a philosophical problem, a problem which the author of this article attempts to understand from the point of view of how one might see oneself as paradoxically implicated in the drama of its articulation. It is this paradox that will lead us to speak of the narrative of The stranger as referring to a problem in how philosophy speaks to our experience of education.

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Citations of this work

The educational cost of philosophical suicide: What it means to be lucid.Simone Thornton - 2019 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (6):608-618.
Engagement as dialogue: Camus, pragmatism and constructivist pedagogy.Gilbert Burgh & Simone Thornton - 2015 - Education as Philosophies of Engagement, 44th Annual Conference of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia, Kingsgate Hotel, Hamilton, New Zealand, 22–25 November 2014.
Camus, habitat and the art of seeing.Aidan Hobson - 2017 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (13):1249-1258.

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References found in this work

The Myth of Sisyphus.Albert Camus - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (1):104-107.
A Life Worth Living.Julian Young - 2006 - In Hubert L. Dreyfus & Mark A. Wrathall (eds.), A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. pp. 516–530.

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