Kierkegaard and Camus’ Approaches towards “Absurd” Concept
Introduction: people are used to paying attention to the world we live in and to the surrounding details. Nowadays, it is not a wonder to notice absurd around us, as we might say. However, what is absurd at all? Is it something that merely contradicts to the common sense or something that is going on beyond the usual frames?
Argument: Our life is full of absurd, and, probably, such state of affairs has existed since the time, when the human beings started perceiving themselves and other people as personalities. However, at the beginning, the philosophy of existence (existentialism) put its attention on the uniqueness of the human beings’ life. Based on this and on the features authors noticed, another science – the theory of absurd was developed. According to the mentioned theory, human life does not have any sense. Absurd as a structured and formed philosophical concept was presented in the work “The Myth of Sisyphus” which was written by the French writer and philosopher Albert Camus. In his works the writer grounded his ideas on the previously expressed thoughts of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Husserl.
The main reason for the theory formation and introduction were the World Wars which led to millions of people’s deaths, sufferings, social unbelief and so on. Thus, all these factors have become a ground for the development of the ideas of existence as a movement of humanism. As a matter of fact, in the first part of the previous century people have started to take an interest in the art of Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, and the ideas of absurd have started to gain the popularity. As the result, the theory of absurd has become a core of the philosophy of that time and for many other branches of art: writing, poetry, theatre etc.
Nevertheless, the question of why particularly senseless world ideas have touched a sore spot is still open. In order to answer this question, we have to discover the approaches of the most famous and bright representatives of this philosophy: Søren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus.
The approaches towards “Absurd” in Kierkegaard’s philosophy.
The idea of the absurd is raised in several works of the writer and the most important among them is “Fear and Trembling”. He criticized in his work the Christian religion, and used the plot from Holy Bible, where Abraham victimized his son for God. Using this example, Kierkegaard shows that a human is not free, on the contrary, the life is absurd, and it does not have any sense. Abraham’s faith for the writer is a complete paradox, which is able to transfer the murder into sacral and holy action, pleasing to God. Following the writer’s idea, this paradox does not fit any frames or common sense.
“Even if a man were born in humble circumstances, I would require of him nevertheless that he should not be so inhuman toward himself as not to be able to think …