The Myth Of Sisyphus And Other Essays And Nagel 's The Absurd

1646 Words Nov 10th, 2015 7 Pages
In Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays and Nagel’s The Absurd, Camus and Nagel offer both differentiating and relating thoughts on the absurd. While they both agree that the absurd arises from a clash, they differ in what the clash consists of. For Nagel, the absurd is a clash within us, whereas for Camus the conflict is between the human mind and the world. Furthermore, they have contrasting viewpoints on suicides in regards to an escape of the absurd, and they differ in their thoughts on the implications the absurd has on the human life as we continue to live. The notion of where the absurdity of the human condition arises from is a significant aspect of both Camus and Nagel’s thoughts. In the sense that they both agree that the absurd comes about from a clash, the clashes they talk about are not the same. In his work, Nagel argues the human ability to take a step back and call into doubt what we take most serious contributes to the absurdity of life. He further argues, “It is absurd because we ignore the doubts that we know cannot be settled, continuing to live with nearly undiminished seriousness in spite of them”(15). This collision, or clash, between the seriousness humans live their lives with and the ignorance and therefore inability of settling doubts of what we consider most serious, is absurd. Thus, Nagel’s reasons for the absurd are “first as regards the unavoidability of seriousness; second as regards the inescapability of doubt.” (15) On the…

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