Philosophical Suicide


Philosophy can be defined as the desire to acquire wisdom and knowledge on life. It thus deals with a person’s intelligence on aspects of life that an individual has developed an interest in. Camus, for instance, developed an interest in understanding the human nature and how humans respond to the environment. This paper seeks to discuss the argument made by Camus over philosophical suicide. The paper will look into what Camus defined as psychological suicide with the aim of evaluating the decision that was made by Camus.

Philosophical Suicide

The origin of Camus’ argument over philosophical suicide is based on the concept of nature being abstract and thus making it very hard for people to fully and clearly understand it. Camus had the views that it would be difficult, if not impossible to digest and understand the world in a reasonable way thus presenting a conflict in human beings who want to have a rational life.

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The inability of humans to develop an understanding of the world has also resulted in people’s internal conflict as expectations fall apart to what nature dictates upon people. He explained that absurdity is a result of questions that are asked in life following occurrences that are not understood. Such questions, owing to their lack of answers bring the awareness that nature is abstract. One of the thoughts that Camus laid down for his argument is the idea that once the abstract nature of the world is revealed to an individual, a person develops attitudes that are connected to the urge to die, bringing in elements of suicide among people (Sandres and Skoble 121).

Available options

The conflict that is created by the existence of absurdity of nature enlists reactions from individuals to try and understand nature for an appropriate response.

According to Camus, there are just but a few available options that an individual has in the face of the abstract nature of the world. These options are “actual suicide, philosophical suicide and revolt” (Sandres and Skoble 122). The option of actual suicide involves the termination of an individual’s life in a bid to eliminate the problem experienced due to absurdity. The other available response to nature’s abstract condition is revolt against it. Revolt, however, has the effect of torturing an individual as well as being quite demanding. In revolt, a person will, for example, have to abandon weaknesses in order to be able to endure the effects that are caused by inability to understand or even react to nature. Philosophical suicide on the other hand involves an assumption of the complexity presented by nature. Under this response, a person isolates self from the existence of nature by suppressing knowledge towards nature.

Philosophical suicide takes a safer ground that is not available in revolt under which a person still ends up being alienated in life like in the case of suicide (Sandres and Skoble 123).


The abstract nature of the world poses problems that can only be solved through three ways. Suicide and revolt either technically or implicitly eliminates an individual from the world leaving philosophical suicide as the neutral and safer resort. Philosophical suicide is thus the comfort zone among the three options. A fair opinion will therefore concur with Camus that once in it a person cannot easily walk out of philosophical suicide.

Work Cited

Sandres, Steven and Skoble Aenon. The philosophy of TV noir.

Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2008. Print.


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