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BETWEEN CONTENT AND FORM: CAMUS’ LITERARY ETHICS

Whistler, Grace (2018) BETWEEN CONTENT AND FORM: CAMUS’ LITERARY ETHICS. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The following thesis aims to demonstrate the relevance of the work of Albert Camus to contemporary ethics. Drawing on recent debates around philosophical style and ethical communication, I suggest that Camus’ work is characterised by an endeavour to formulate new ways of communicating moral issues and provoking ethical reflection. The following thesis is broken up into eight chapters. Chapter One is an introductory chapter which sets out the context to the current thesis, drawing on research on the significance of philosophical style (such as those of Berel Lang and Jon Stewart), as well as texts which assess the possibility of reading literature for ethical content (from Martha Nussbaum and Richard Posner), among other works. Chapter Two examines Camus’ response to Christianity as the basis for the formulation of his own ethics, arguing that it is his inability to accept the concept of transcendence that motivates his desire to devise an alternative moral philosophy. The following four chapters (Chapter Three through to Six) examine specific devices used by Camus in both his literary and philosophical works, in order to demonstrate his endeavour to formulate new modes of ethical communication, all the way from grammatical constructions to ethical fables. Chapter Seven is a case study of a novel which I argue follows in Camus’ footsteps in its attempt to elicit ethical reflection through narrative technique—that is, Kamel Daoud’s Meursault, contre-enquête. Chapter Eight summarises the contribution that Camus’ diverse writings make to ethical understanding, suggesting that drawing on interdisciplinary writings such as Camus’ could beneficially expand the methodological arsenal of contemporary ethics.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Academic Units: The University of York > Philosophy (York)
Depositing User: Dr Grace Whistler
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2019 10:31
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2019 08:39
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21644

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