Identifier

etd-07122006-152037

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Albert Camus's concept of absurdity states that human existence is fundamentally chaotic and meaningless. Despite this appraisal of existence, Camus tirelessly campaigned for human rights at a time when many intellectuals ignored the atrocities perpetrated by ideological compatriots. Scholars admire Camus's courage and foresight, but few have attempted to systematically examine Camus's philosophical development of values. Eric Voegelin argues that Camus's writings take the form of a philosophical meditation in which Camus conducted an analysis of existence through the medium of fictional creation. This meditation, which Voegelin likens to a Platonic periagoge, allowed Camus to establish a foundation of values that remained consistent with the logic of the absurd and fostered an appreciation of present reality. This study examines Camus's mediation by emphasizing the components that are present in his novel The Plague. Camus ultimately arrives at an aesthetic theory in which he equates beauty with the common dignity of mankind.

Date

2006

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Cecil L. Eubanks

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