Absurdism is the philosophical theory that existence in general is absurd, meaning that the world lacks meaning or a higher purpose and is not fully intelligible by reason. The term "absurd" has a specific sense in the context of absurdism: it refers to a conflict or a discrepancy between two things but there are several disagreements about their exact nature. These disagreements have various consequences for whether absurdism is true and for the arguments cited in favor and against it. Popular accounts characterize the conflict as a collision between rational man and an irrational universe, between intention and outcome, or between subjective assessment and objective worth. An important aspect of absurdism is its claim that the world as a whole is absurd. It differs in this regard from the less global thesis that some particular situations, persons, or phases in life are absurd. Various components of the absurd are discussed in the academic literature and different theorists frequently concentrate their definition and research on different components. On the practical level, the conflict underlying the absurd is characterized by the individual's struggle to find meaning in a meaningless world. The theoretical component, on the other hand, emphasizes more the epistemic inability of reason to penetrate and understand reality. Traditionally, the conflict is characterized as a collision between an internal component, belonging to human nature, and an external component, belonging to the nature of the world. However, some later theorists have suggested that both components may be internal: the capacity to see through the arbitrariness of any ultimate purpose, on the one hand, and the incapacity to stop caring about such purposes, on the other hand. Certain accounts also involve a metacognitive component by holding that an awareness of the conflict is necessary for the absurd to arise. Some arguments in favor of absurdism focus on the human insignificance in the universe, on the role of death, or on the implausibility or irrationality of positing an ultimate purpose. Objections to absurdism often contend that life is in fact meaningful or point out certain problematic consequences or inconsistencies of absurdism. Defenders of absurdism often complain that it does not receive the attention of professional philosophers it merits in virtue of the topic's importance and its potential psychological impact on the affected individuals in the form of existential crises. Various possible responses to deal with absurdism and its impact have been suggested. The three responses discussed in the traditional absurdist literature are suicide, religious belief in a higher purpose, and rebellion against the absurd. Of these, rebellion is usually presented as the recommended response since, unlike the other two responses, it does not escape the absurd and instead recognizes it for what it is. Later theorists have suggested additional responses, like using irony to take life less seriously or remaining ignorant of the responsible conflict. Some absurdists argue that whether and how one responds is insignificant. This is based on the idea that if nothing really matters then the human response toward this fact does not matter either. The term "absurdism" is most closely associated with the philosophy of Albert Camus. However, important precursors and discussions of the absurd are also found in the works of Søren Kierkegaard. Absurdism is intimately related to various other concepts and theories. Its basic outlook is inspired by existentialist philosophy. However, existentialism includes additional theoretical commitments and often takes a more optimistic attitude toward the possibility of finding or creating meaning in one's life. Absurdism and nihilism share the belief that life is meaningless. But absurdists do not treat this as an isolated fact and are instead interested in the conflict between the human desire for meaning and the world's lack thereof. Being confronted with this conflict may trigger an existential crisis, in which unpleasant experiences like anxiety or depression may push the affected to find a response for dealing with the conflict. Recognizing the absence of objective meaning, however, does not preclude the conscious thinker from finding subjective meaning in arbitrary places. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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