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Existentialism,The Fall, Camus

  • Word Count: 1756
  • Approx Pages: 7

             Existentialism: Objective vs. Subjective
             Most philosophers, like Greece’s Plato have claimed that the highest ethical good is universal. They believed in objective values or pre-determined moral codes. The Nineteenth-century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard reacted against this tradition, claiming that the individual's highest good is to find his or her own purpose in life. In terms of moral choice, philosophers like Kierkegaard have argued that there is no objective or rational basis for decisions; they stress the importance of individualism in deciding questions of morality and truth. They also argued that life's most important questions are not accessible to reason or science. According to philosophers like Kierkegaard, man is nothing else but his own conscious existence. So it is up to the individual to choose what his or her meaning of life is. All of these ideas are considered subjective. They take place within one’s own consciousness, unaffected by outside or material forces. On the contrary, objective principles are actual ideals such as Christianity. The religion establishes the moral codes and deciphers right vs. wrong rather than the individual. This distinction between subjective and objective values is the basis of the philosophical movement called existentialism. This movement which was originated by Soren Kierkegaard and advocated by several other well-known philosophers such as Jean Paul Sarte, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Albert Camus challenges traditional notions of human existence. It encompasses freedom of choice, through which each human being creates his or her own nature. Because individuals are free to choose their own path, existentialists have argued that they must accept the risk and responsibility of their actions. In the novel The Fall, by Albert Camus, Camus uses his Main Character, Jean-Baptiste Clamence to reveal many existentialist ideas, primarily the clash of objective and subj...

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Existentialism,The Fall, Camus. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:17, August 31, 2016, from