E21 Nagel and the Absurd

Does it matter that nothing matters?

Nov 9, 2020

According to Albert Camus, the absurd is the "one truly serious philosophical problem". In fact, Camus was so concerned by the notion of the absurd that he wrote an essay investigating whether or not we should commit suicide in the face of it. But in the words of Thomas Nagel, Camus' attitude towards the absurd is "romantic and slightly self-pitying". According to Nagel, all we need in order to respond to the absurdity of human life is irony and a good sense of humour.

Tune in to this episode of Searching For It to learn why Nagel describes human existence as absurd, and despite the dramatics of Camus, why it doesn't really matter.

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