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In his essay nagel also compares the clash of

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Unformatted text preview: situation is absurd when it includes a conspicuous discrepancy between pretension or aspiration and reality: someone gives a complicated speech in support of a motion that has already been passed; a notorious criminal is made president of a major philanthropic foundation; you declare your love over the telephone to a recorded announcement; as you are being knighted, your pants fall down. (145) This ordinary way of thinking about absurdity suggests to Nagel a necessary condition on an immanent meaning of life: if there is an immanent meaning of life, then there must be some ways in which life relates to immanent things- - i.e., some actions we can perform, or some situations in which we can find ourselves- - to which such a clash doesn't apply (otherwise, there could be no immanent meaning of life because all of the ways in which life would relate to things in the immanent realm would be absurd, without meaning). Nagel then goes on to claim that there are no ways in which life relates to immanent things that are free of this clash of perspectives- - no "clash- of- perspectives- free" manner, we might say, in which life can relate to immanent things. In other words, he thinks that all actions and situations in life are such that whatever worth they have from the internal perspective clashes with the worth they have from some external perspective (that we could adopt if we were reflective enough): We cannot live human lives without energy and attention, nor without choices which show that we take some things more seriously than others. Yet we have always available a point of view outside the particular form of our lives, from which the seriousness appears gratuitous. These two inescapable viewpoints collid...
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