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Philosophical Gymnasts

January 14, 2013

6

Kant’s impressive philosophical gymnastics turned morality and science into a mind game. But determining that the existence of both objective morality and human freedom in the phenomenal realm necessitates their existence in the noumenal realm does nothing to reconcile the two. It only shifts the playing field. Camus saw through Kant’s elaborate, nearly-incomprehensible rhetoric and called him absurd. “It doesn’t matter,” Meursault says, repeatedly. Your mom died. It doesn’t matter. You have been sentenced to death. It doesn’t matter. You won’t go to heaven. It doesn’t matter.

Kant attempts to reconcile the paradox. Camus feigns solace in the casual indifference that nature’s component parts have for one another. But their respective failure and despair are just as tragic as the inevitabilities they try to avoid.

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