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The Prophets of Nihilism

Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Camus

Sean Illing (author)

ISBN: 9781680530261

Publication Date: Apr 2018

Format: Hardback

In this engaging study, Sean Illing examines the impact of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Friedrich Nietzsche on the development of Albert Camus's political philosophy, and innovatively attempts to offer a substantive examination of Camus's dialogue with Nietzsche and Dostoevsky.
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In this engaging study, Sean Illing examines the impact of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Friedrich Nietzsche on the development of Albert Camus's political philosophy. It innovatively attempt to offer a substantive examination of Camus's dialogue with Nietzsche and Dostoevsky.

The connections among these writers have been discussed in the general context of modern thought or via overlapping literary themes. This project emphasizes the political dimensions of these connections. In addition to re-interpreting Camus's political thought, the aim is to clarify Camus's struggle with transcendence and to bring renewed attention to his unique understanding of the relationship between nihilism, ideology, and political violence in the twentieth century.

The book focuses on Camus's dialogue with Nietzsche and Dostoevsky for three reasons. First, these are the thinkers with whom Camus is most engaged. Indeed, the problems and themes of Camus's work are largely defined by Dostoevsky and Nietzsche; a full account of this dialogue will therefore enhance our understanding of Camus while also reinforcing the enduring importance of Nietzsche and Dostoevsky. Second, it allows a recasting of Camus' political philosophy as both a synthesis of and a response to Nietzsche and Dostoevsky's projects.

Finally, this approach allows for a reassessment of Camus's broader political significance, which I contend has been undervalued in the literature. Ultimately, I argue that Camus remains among the most important moral and political voices of the twentieth century. Although limited, his philosophy of revolt offers a humane portrait of justice and articulates a meaningful alternative to the extremes of ideological politics.
Pages 225
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Apr 2018
Publisher Academica Press
Subject/s Social & political philosophy   History of Western philosophy   Popular philosophy  

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