Quora answer: What’s an absurd?

Feb 16 2014

The Absurd in my opinion is an intensification of contradiction into paradox and paradox into the Absurd and is an image of the limit of Doxa in Plato’s divided line. We can just keep intensifying the limits of doxa so that opinion becomes senseless by violating logic, and then violating itself by redoubling the gesture of rendering doxa meaningless by producing paradoxes which then are redoubled again into Absurdity.

Kierkegaard was the first to give this term philosophical meaning when he said that Religion was essentially absurd and therefore against Hegel could not be reduced to Reason. This cause was taken up by Sartre and Camus who said that existence was essentially meaningless unless we manufactured the meaning of it ourselves. But the false attempts of society to project meaning on existence produced absurdities of the type that abound in the novel Catch 22. Absurdity exposure became a prime motif in the theater and the best of these plays are those of Becket who has two bums waiting for the Big Other as Lacan via Zizek would say, i.e. Godot. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot] Their situation is fundamentally absurd, endless waiting for nothing trapped in eternal return of Pozo and Lucky the master/slave dialectic being replayed over and over again. The only break is the appearance of the boy who promises that Godot will come tomorrow. Such is the innocence of youth. Lots of other lesser lights like Ionesco produced different sorts of absurdist drama. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_the_Absurd

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