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Camus, Albert

  1. David Sprintzen

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee606

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Sprintzen, D. 2013. Camus, Albert. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

Abstract

Contracting tuberculosis at the age of seventeen and facing the prospect of an early death indelibly marked Albert Camus (1913–60) with a profound sense of the transiency of life, while deepening his passionate commitment to its irreplaceable value. That dual experience resonates throughout his work, from his early essays in “Two Sides of the Coin” (usually translated as “The Right Side and The Wrong Side”) and “Nuptials,” and then in his celebrated novel The Stranger (1942), to his last unfinished, clearly autobiographical, work The First Man (published posthumously in 1994). In the face of inevitable death (see Death), he commits himself to an unceasing effort to “bear witness” to human possibilities. In the words of the epigram to The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), “Oh my soul, do not aspire to immortal life, but exhaust the field of the possible.”

Keywords:

  • twentieth century;
  • continental philosophy;
  • ethics;
  • authenticity;
  • death;
  • freedom;
  • human rights;
  • humanism;
  • justice;
  • liberty