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Le Mythe de Sisyphe

Author: Albert Camus
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Volume 9 Kierkegaard and Existentialism

Author: Jon Stewart
Publisher: Routledge
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There can be no doubt that most of the thinkers who are usually associated with the existentialist tradition, whatever their actual doctrines, were in one way or another influenced by the writings of Kierkegaard. This influence is so great that it can be fairly stated that the existentialist movement was largely responsible for the major advance in Kierkegaard's international reception that took place in the twentieth century. In Kierkegaard's writings one can find a rich array of concepts such as anxiety, despair, freedom, sin, the crowd, and sickness that all came to be standard motifs in existentialist literature. Sartre played an important role in canonizing Kierkegaard as one of the forerunners of existentialism. However, recent scholarship has been attentive to his ideological use of Kierkegaard. Indeed, Sartre seemed to be exploiting Kierkegaard for his own purposes and suspicions of misrepresentation and distortions have led recent commentators to go back and reexamine the complex relation between Kierkegaard and the existentialist thinkers. The articles in the present volume feature figures from the French, German, Spanish and Russian traditions of existentialism. They examine the rich and varied use of Kierkegaard by these later thinkers, and, most importantly, they critically analyze his purported role in this famous intellectual movement.


Camus

Author: Ray Davison
Publisher: University of Exeter Press
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This is the first full-length study in English of Camus's life-long fascination with the works of the Russian writer Feodor Dostoevsky. The purpose of the book is to demonstrate the ways in which Dostoevsky's thought and fiction served to stimulate and crystallize Camus's own thinking. Davison lucidly identifies the lines of divergence and counter-arguments which Camus produced as answers to the challenge of Dostoevsky's Christian/Tzarist vision of life. The traditional methods of comparative literary criticism are jettisoned in favour of the more exciting claim that Camus's literary and philosophical texts can be read as precise and detailed replies to some of Dostoevsky's central beliefs about immortality, religion and politics. The study ranges freely over the entirety of the works of both major writers.


Situating Existentialism

Author: Jonathan Judaken
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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This anthology provides a history of the systemization and canonization of existentialism, a quintessentially antisystemic mode of thought. Situating existentialism within the history of ideas, it features new readings on the most influential works in the existential canon, exploring their formative contexts and the cultural dialogues of which they were a part. Emphasizing the multidisciplinary and global nature of existential arguments, the chosen texts relate to philosophy, religion, literature, theater, and culture and reflect European, Russian, Latin American, African, and American strains of thought. Readings are grouped into three thematic categories: national contexts, existentialism and religion, and transcultural migrations that explore the reception of existentialism. The volume explains how literary giants such as Dostoevsky and Tolstoy were incorporated into the existentialist fold and how inclusion into the canon recast the work of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, and it describes the roles played by Jaspers and Heidegger in Germany and the Paris School of existentialism in France. Essays address not only frequently assigned works but also underappreciated discoveries, underscoring their vital relevance to contemporary critical debate. Designed to speak to a new generation's concerns, the collection deploys a diverse range of voices to interrogate the fundamental questions of the human condition.


Difficult Atheism

Author: Christopher Watkin
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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Drawing primarily on the work of Alain Badiou and Jean-Luc Nancy, plus Quentin Meillassoux and Slavoj Zizek, Watkin explores the theme of atheism through the ideas of the death of God and nihilism in contemporary French philosophy.


Soviet Studies in Philosophy

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The Renaissance of Impasse

Author: Jean-François Leroux
Publisher: Peter Lang
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In his 1963 debut essay for the militant Quebec journal, "Parti pris," Andre Brochu invoked the figure of the sixteenth-century skeptic Michel de Montaigne in the name of what Ralph Waldo Emerson, responding to the same over a century earlier, had called, -an original relation to the universe-. -Ecrire-, wrote Brochu, -c'est redefinir la relation originelle de l'homme a l'univers, c'est, comme ecrit magnifiquement Montaigne, 'faire l'homme'...- By tracing the idealism of nineteenth-century American and twentieth-century Quebec writers back to Montaigne and his rejection of Aristotelian and Scholastic reason, "The Renaissance of Impasse" offers an alternate history to that found in much (post)Romantic criticism, wherein modern skepticism tends to be identified with, and so in a sense confined to, the project of Enlightenment reason. Key works from Thomas Carlyle, Emerson and Herman Melville to Hubert Aquin, Rejean Ducharme and Victory-Levy Beaulieu serve to define and to refine the sense of an impasse - personal, social, spiritual, historical, and political - that accompanies the -modern- drive to renaissance."


Albert Camus and the literature of revolt

Author: John Cruickshank
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The Myth of Sisyphus

Author: Albert Camus
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The Myth of Sisyphus (French: Le Mythe de Sisyphe) is a 1942 philosophical essay by Albert Camus. The English translation by Justin O'Brien was first published in 1955.In the essay, Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd: man's futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values. Does the realization of the absurd require suicide? Camus answers: "No. It requires revolt." He then outlines several approaches to the absurd life. The final chapter compares the absurdity of man's life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. The essay concludes, "The struggle itself [...] is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."


Reforming the European Union

Author: Daniel Finke
Publisher: Princeton University Press
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For decades the European Union tried changing its institutions, but achieved only unsatisfying political compromises and modest, incremental treaty revisions. In late 2009, however, the EU was successfully reformed through the Treaty of Lisbon. Reforming the European Union examines how political leaders ratified this treaty against all odds and shows how this victory involved all stages of treaty reform negotiations--from the initial proposal to referendums in several European countries. The authors emphasize the strategic role of political leadership and domestic politics, and they use state-of-the-art methodology, applying a comprehensive data set for actors' reform preferences. They look at how political leaders reacted to apparent failures of the process by recreating or changing the rules of the game. While domestic actors played a significant role in the process, their influence over the outcome was limited as leaders ignored negative referendums and plowed ahead with intended reforms. The book's empirical analyses shed light on critical episodes: strategic agenda setting during the European Convention, the choice of ratification instrument, intergovernmental bargaining dynamics, and the reaction of the German Council presidency to the negative referendums in France, the Netherlands, and Ireland.