Invoking Camus to Live: On Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World

Shammas, Michael. "Invoking Camus to Live." The Huffington Post. July 15, 2015 (revised October 30, 2018)

4 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2019

See all articles by Michael Shammas

Michael Shammas

Harvard Law School; Duke University; The Civil Jury Project

Date Written: October 30, 2018

Abstract

For years, I've been haunted by a question: What is the meaning — the point — of any of this hub-bub if, at the end, I’ll die? Assuming there is no afterlife, that after dying I’ll return to that duplicate state (or non-state) of consciousness I possessed before birth — nothingness — what difference does it make whether I plod on to eighty or expire this instant? What gives if I live a life of public utility or private quietude? Either way, it will presently be as if none of this ever transpired. The curtains will descend over my consciousness — a brief and anomalous crack of light flitting amidst two eternities of darkness. Is the only realness nothingness, the only truth our finitude, mortality, and cosmic insignificance against an incomprehensibly vast universe? Albert Camus's absurdist philosophy provides a path out of this conundrum.

Keywords: Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Stranger, Existentialism, Sartre, Philosophy, Michael Shammas, The Rebel, Meaning, Ernest Becker

Suggested Citation

Shammas, Michael, Invoking Camus to Live: On Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World (October 30, 2018). Shammas, Michael. "Invoking Camus to Live." The Huffington Post. July 15, 2015 (revised October 30, 2018), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3460847 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3460847

Michael Shammas (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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Duke University ( email )

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The Civil Jury Project ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.civiljuryproject.law.nyu.edu/

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