Title page for ETD etd-07122006-152037

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Blanchard, Brian James
Author's Email Address bblanc7@lsu.edu
URN etd-07122006-152037
Title Albert Camus's Meditative Ascent: A Search for Foundations in the Plague
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cecil L. Eubanks Committee Chair
David Sobek Committee Member
G. Ellis Sandoz Committee Member
  • albert camus
  • eric voegelin
  • foundations
  • values
  • periagoge
Date of Defense 2006-07-09
Availability unrestricted
Albert Camus's concept of absurdity states that human existence is fundamentally chaotic and meaningless. Despite this appraisal of existence, Camus tirelessly campaigned for human rights at a time when many intellectuals ignored the atrocities perpetrated by ideological compatriots. Scholars admire Camus's courage and foresight, but few have attempted to systematically examine Camus's philosophical development of values. Eric Voegelin argues that Camus's writings take the form of a philosophical meditation in which Camus conducted an analysis of existence through the medium of fictional creation. This meditation, which Voegelin likens to a Platonic periagoge, allowed Camus to establish a foundation of values that remained consistent with the logic of the absurd and fostered an appreciation of present reality. This study examines Camus's mediation by emphasizing the components that are present in his novel The Plague. Camus ultimately arrives at an aesthetic theory in which he equates beauty with the common dignity of mankind.
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