Camus' Early Logic of the Absurd

Thomas Pölzler
University of Graz
Camus’ early “logic of the absurd” has been interpreted and assessed differently. In this article I do two things: First, I outline what I take to be the most adequate interpretation. Second, I discuss three challenges defenders of the “logic of the absurd” may be said to face (given that my interpretation in the first part is correct). My approach is rather unorthodox. Although Camus explicitly refused to be seen as a philosopher, and although if one sees him as a philosopher, he certainly has to be seen as belonging to the tradition of continental (as opposed to analytic) philosophy, I look at him from the perspective of analytic philosophy. It appears, first, that Camus conceives of the absurd as a relation between man’s search for meaning and the world which is not answering this search for meaning, and that he takes the fact of there being this absurd relation to imply proscriptions of both physical and philosophical suicide and an obligation to revolt. And it appears, second, that beliefs in the existence of the absurd can not be shown false by reference to their causal history (genetic challenge) and that Camus is not violating Hume’s law (is-ought challenge), but that the early philosophy of the absurd is inconsistent (consistency challenge).
Keywords Albert Camus  Absurdism
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

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,491
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Wie Schlüssig Ist Albert Camus’ Frühe „Logik des Absurden“?Thomas Pölzler - 2016 - Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 41 (1):59-76.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Absurdity, Incongruity and Laughter.Bob Plant - 2009 - Philosophy 84 (1):111-134.
Absurdity and Suicide.Daniel Shaw - 1985 - Philosophy Research Archives 11:209-223.
Absurd Creation: An Existentialist View of Art?Guy Bennett-Hunter - 2009 - Philosophical Frontiers 4 (1):49-58.
Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd.Joseph M. de Torre - 2004 - Review of Metaphysics 57 (4):865-867.
Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd.Joseph M. De Torre - 2004 - Review of Metaphysics 57 (4):865-867.
Albert Camus: The Absurd Hero.Robert D. Lane - 1984 - Humanist in Canada 17 (4):85-89.
The Trial of Albert Camus.Russell Grigg - 2011 - Sophia 50 (4):593-602.
Kierkegaard and Camus: Either/Or? [REVIEW]Daniel Berthold - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (2):137-150.
Camus, Pascal, and the Absurd.F. F. Centore - 1980 - New Scholasticism 54 (1):46-59.


Added to PP index

Total views
9 ( #875,635 of 2,381,226 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #560,102 of 2,381,226 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes