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Albert Camus's Philosophy of Communication: Making Sense in an Age of Absurdity By B ...

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Albert Camus's Philosophy of Communication:

in a fast-paced and ever-changing society. Some scholars, including Jean-Francois Lyotard, have used the term postmodern to describe this era defined by a decline of agreed-upon daily practices. According to Lyotard, this postmodern moment is one in which “the grand narrative [of modernity] has lost its credibility,” and therefore the question of knowledge is open to debate and disagreement (37). Whether one refers to this historical moment as an age of absurdity or as postmodernity, life provides ample reminders that human existence is partly defined by opposition and ambiguity. It is within such moments of disruption (and interruption) that one must turn to those who offer guidance for navigating related circumstances; in this case it is the life and work of Albert Camus that provide guidance, insight, and inspiration for living in an age of absurdity.

Camus’s insights are especially enlightening for those interested in questions of human communication—specifically, the study of communication ethics. Through his various roles as journalist, playwright, actor, essayist, philosopher, and novelist, Camus engaged a complex world in a variety of capacities and offered an array of insights into and interpretations of his time. This project seeks to contribute to the argument that Camus’s deep ethical commitments allow him to serve as a philosopher of communication for an age of absurdity (Sleasman, “Albert Camus”). To that end, this introduction explores foundational concepts that establish a framework for the remainder of the text. An exploration of Camus’s understanding of absurdity and of how it can function as a metaphor that guides communicative decision making establishes the background against which he completed his life’s work. For Camus, absurdity was not simply a theoretical concept but part of everyday life; therefore the following section illustrates how he encountered absurdity in his daily existence. Finally, an outline of the remaining chapters provides insight into Camus’s unique contribution to the theory of communication ethics. These steps provide the structure for addressing the central question of this book: How does Albert Camus’s use of the metaphor of the absurd assist one in engaging the contemporary historical