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Unformatted text preview: Week 6 Title— Absurdity Week 6a— Nagel— "The Absurd" Position taken by Nagel resembles that of Camus who argues that we cannot deny absurdity, but that this is consistent with happiness.-Camus wasn’t interested in duty actions rather actions that are maintence work…like vacumming etc. According to Nagel, however, the standard arguments for absurdity are bad. Examples of the standard arguments for absurdity include: Nothing that we do now will matter in a million years. (If this is true, then nothing in million years can matter for us now, which means there is no reason to be troubled with such inevitabilities.)-After your gone no body cares. You might think what is point?-Nagel just turns the tables…nothing there should really matter to you. -If there is a disconnection don’t assess life in that perspective. We are tiny, specks compared to the vast grandness of the universe. ( Our being large does not in and of itself guarantee that our lives would be any more meaningful .)-This would imply that being large is more meaningful. Ex: Alice in wonderland…just because you grow it doesn’t make life more meaningful. Also you must consider small babies are meaningless We are going to die; there can be no ultimate explanation for the purpose of anything. ( We don’t need bigger reasons for our actions other than the need or purpose they serve .)-Somehow infinitude of our lives is an implication of meaningfulness of life. Death isn’t relevant to why you should /shouldn’t write your paper (for example)…if you look at living forever doesn’t detract from meaningfulness of life. Why is life absurd? According to Nagel, two differing perspectives collide in us in a manner that Deprives life of its seriousness or meaning.-superimpositon of 2 dif. perspectives One perspective is that from which we pursue our projects with our own values and goals. This is the perspective from our form of life .-Healthy life: you have goals…healthy life has a sense of purpose. Then there is an external perspective in which we view our activities independently of our motivations and desires.-Conceptual,theoretical perspective…we view our lives outside of our lives…divorced from motivations and desires…and there is no explanation for what we do. Put these two together and our actions seem gratuitous and meaningless. Attempts to avoid absurdity-Way to look at lives were we look at 2 perspectives. There are some ways to avoid this absurdity… One might argue that the problem with most forms of life is that they attempt to locate meaningfulness by reference to human plans. But a larger, grandiose plan, like progress of history, the advance of science, or religion and the glory of God, can avoid such trouble....
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2011 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor James during the Spring '11 term at University of Toronto.
- Spring '11
- The Stranger