Albert Camus Biography: History of Existentialism
The term was explicitly adopted as a self-description byJean-Paul Sartre, and through the wide dissemination of the postwarliterary and philosophical output of Sartre and hisassociates—notably Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty,and Albert Camus—existentialism became identified with acultural movement that flourished in Europe in the 1940s and1950s.
Albert Camus Essays - StudentShare
It began with the existentialist writers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus and eventually included other writers such as Eugene Ionesco, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Edward Albee, and Harold Pinter, to name a few.
There are various paradoxical elements in Camus’s approach tophilosophy. In his book-length essay, The Myth of Sisyphus,Camus presents a philosophy that contests philosophy itself. Thisessay belongs squarely in the philosophical tradition ofexistentialism but Camus denied being an existentialist. Both TheMyth of Sisyphus and his other philosophical work, TheRebel, are systematically skeptical of conclusions about themeaning of life, yet both works assert objectively valid answers tokey questions about how to live. Though Camus seemed modest whendescribing his intellectual ambitions, he was confident enough as aphilosopher to articulate not only his own philosophy but also acritique of religion and a fundamental critique of modernity. Whilerejecting the very idea of a philosophical system, Camus constructedhis own original edifice of ideas around the key terms of absurdityand rebellion, aiming to resolve the life-or-death issues thatmotivated him.