Philosophy

Research Article

Absurdity, Incongruity and Laughter

Bob Planta1

a1 University of Aberdeen

Abstract

In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus recommends scornful defiance in the face of our absurd, meaningless existence. Although Nagel agrees that human life possesses an absurd dimension, he objects to Camus’ existentialist ‘dramatics’. For Nagel, absurdity arises from the irreducible tension between our subjective and objective perspectives on life. In this paper I do two things: (i) critically reconstruct Camus’ and Nagel's positions, and (ii) develop Nagel's critique of Camus in order to argue that humour is an appropriate response to absurdity.