A poisoned peace
The century of doubt, exhibited here by one of the more artistic of philosophical thinkers, Camus.
Yet we find that this is a kind of anachronistic view which persists into every present moment. In particular because I think the choice that he gives us, while appearing like a false choice, if I include myself in the continuum of humanity as a historical organism of knowledge, it’s actually a mistaken view.
Take for example this famous picture called “all is vanity￼”.
The choice that Camus appears to give us is a choice between say the woman looking in the mirror and a skull. Here, There is no reduction to the picture itself to say that there is a false choice, but rather that the choice that I am making to say that it is a false choice is understood as a correct reduction. Of course if we bring in the French artist I forget his name, who made the picture “This is not a pipe” (The treachery of images)
We have the argument for a false dichotomy.
These are missed placed expressions of doubt. Miss placed because if you take them to their end and actually apply them to a lived life, you really get nowhere but a bad attitude. Or you get the sort of Zen bliss of understanding about the transience of consciousness.
But then when you look at the 20th century, with some exceptions of course, you pretty much see a bunch of people with a bunch of bad attitudes; you don’t see a bunch of people in a Zen happy state. I mean The 20th century started out with two world wars as well as the synthesis of pure drugs. I mean that sounds to me like a recipe for disaster. Lol
And still you have these kind of pessimistic philosophers that are stuck in the 20th century that want to reduce things to sort of the actuality of things. And the thing is is that every experience includes all these kinds of false choices and false dichotomies; The issue is is what choice do we want to make about the “actuality of things”. For when we think about it even coming to the conclusion that such and such is the “actuality of things” must also be included in that situation that they are presenting as the actuality of things. And so the confusion that we find in the 20th century is this idea that ideas are giving us “actual things”. This is where we find nihilism. Because people came across these “big profound truths of existence” and then you got depressed and spiteful because they’re very ideas about the profundity of life and existence was merely reflecting this situation that they themselves were in: The belief that what they are telling themselves is true.
They failed to supply their own contradictions to the conclusions that they have come across.
There is no good reduction to the actuality of the pipe or the actuality of the drawing. Actuality is what is occurring at the moment. And if the actuality of what is occurring at the moment is that there is a false choice presented to us in existence, then we have nearly found the content of contradiction, rather than finding the substance of human existence. Les as a real case and more as a true case.