D'arcy's Camus Moment

Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, Jun 05, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As Martin Weller notes, Camus writes, "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide." Weller adds, "He argues that a search for meaning and deity is absurd, and once we realise this, suicide is a logical conclusion: 'The subject of this essay is precisely this relationship between the absurd and suicide, the exact degree to which suicide is a solution to the absurd.'" What I have discovered is that meaning is not intrinsic to things - and hence, the meaning of life is not to be found in the life by itself (no more than the 'meaning' of a lolcat is found in the lolcat by itself) but rather in the social, political, and cultural surround that life finds itself in. That is not to say that meaning is extrinsic to things (that is, defined solely in terms of these external referents) - it is in the combination of the two, the interaction and connection between the two. Because meaning is essentially complex, which is why it has resisted definition to this point.
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