PARADOX AND FREEDOM
Harry Juricic, B.S.MALS Mentor: Francis Ambrosio, Ph.D.ABSTRACTThe search for meaning in the human condition is a fundamental question that has been asked and answered in many ways in the course of human history. Many, if not all, of the answers have been subjected to valid criticism. This thesis provides research into the works of Albert Camus and examines the philosophical underpinnings of his skepticism toward modern attempts to find meaning in the human condition. Camus narrates how modern epistemological studies result in paradox and undertakes a post-modern phenomenological approach in the study of humanities. Camus examines how the conscious experience of innocent human suffering fundamentally alters the value of knowledge and offers freedom as the highest good.This study of Camus explores how our encounter with human suffering gives us an opportunity to understand how our experiences shape our existence. I examine how modernity defends Neo-Platonism by developing theodicies that offer explanations to the Problem of Evil and how modern ethics asserts the pursuit of knowledge as the highest good. Camus studies how fundamentally the nature of the human condition is a search for freedom rather than of meaning. However, an approach that examines the limits of knowledge from the perspective of the works of Albert Camus alone is too narrow. This thesis also expands on some of the works offered by Elie Wiesel and Hannah Arendt to derive more aspects associated with freedom, nihilism and totalitarianism. These attributes allow us to more fully examine the nature of freedom and its central role in the study of the human condition.
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