Paper Title

[3.1] "I Revolt - therefore we exist": The Contemporary Value of the Absurd Revolt

Location

Arts & Education Building 208, Moderated by Dr. Bruce Baugh

Start Date

18-1-2019 3:30 PM

End Date

18-1-2019 4:45 PM

Disciplines

Continental Philosophy | Philosophy

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Albert Camus’ words take on new significance in our age of climate crisis and democratic decay. This presentation will look at Camus ideas on revolt, particularly the evolution of our solitary revolt against inevitable death into the social revolt against tyranny and injustice. The importance of a sustained revolt that does not degenerate into revolution will be discussed, as well as the moral grounds that orient this revolt towards fighting undefined, but recognizable forms of injustice. The rebel rejects the moral foundation of an absolute, choosing instead to confront the inherent irrationality of the world. However, while accepting the inevitable existence of irrationality, the rebel rejects the unnecessary and arbitrary injustice of the world and refuses to contribute to its violence and cruelty. Thus, the rebel works within the limits of reason to reject the nihilism associated with the death of God, and in its place, emphasizes that life itself has inherent value and is therefore betrayed by justifications outside of life. The rebel lives for this world, and in this world, there is no shortage of irrational injustice to revolt against. Over the last century, our world has been guided by the hands of irrationality from nuclear annihilation to ecological destruction. As life on earth hangs in the balance, Camus’ declaration “I rebel – therefore we exist,’ takes on a new magnitude and his philosophy provides invaluable inspiration and orientation to a new generation who must rebel to survive.

Comments

Key Words: Revolt, Absurd, Injustice, Nihilism, Limits.

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Jan 18th, 3:30 PM Jan 18th, 4:45 PM

[3.1] "I Revolt - therefore we exist": The Contemporary Value of the Absurd Revolt

Arts & Education Building 208, Moderated by Dr. Bruce Baugh

Albert Camus’ words take on new significance in our age of climate crisis and democratic decay. This presentation will look at Camus ideas on revolt, particularly the evolution of our solitary revolt against inevitable death into the social revolt against tyranny and injustice. The importance of a sustained revolt that does not degenerate into revolution will be discussed, as well as the moral grounds that orient this revolt towards fighting undefined, but recognizable forms of injustice. The rebel rejects the moral foundation of an absolute, choosing instead to confront the inherent irrationality of the world. However, while accepting the inevitable existence of irrationality, the rebel rejects the unnecessary and arbitrary injustice of the world and refuses to contribute to its violence and cruelty. Thus, the rebel works within the limits of reason to reject the nihilism associated with the death of God, and in its place, emphasizes that life itself has inherent value and is therefore betrayed by justifications outside of life. The rebel lives for this world, and in this world, there is no shortage of irrational injustice to revolt against. Over the last century, our world has been guided by the hands of irrationality from nuclear annihilation to ecological destruction. As life on earth hangs in the balance, Camus’ declaration “I rebel – therefore we exist,’ takes on a new magnitude and his philosophy provides invaluable inspiration and orientation to a new generation who must rebel to survive.