November 10, 2021 1 min read

Camus Trolley Problem


There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” Camus writes this in the introduction of the "Myth of Sisyphus" and thus also exposes the pseudo problems of philosophy, at least if we accept that existence precedes essence.

The popular trolley problem seems to be one such pseudo-problem in ethics, at least in its vulgar understanding conveyed by the many memes about it. The frame is set from the beginning that there are only two possibilities, which is an extreme example that exists in reality mostly only in action movies or in theater. The exciting question here would now be whether Camus, with the quotation above, also enters into just this semblance of a problem. To simplify complex things may be the task of a philosopher, but the false conclusion of Occam's razor, the inappropriate reduction of complex facts should not be it as a rule. Unless you become a philosopher who wants to write proverbs or aphorisms for cheesy calendars. (We will never publish such a calendar).

In the meme you can see the type of car in which Camus died. It cannot be assumed that it was suicide though. Others say the KGB dazzle Camus with their headlights while he was driving. Of course, there are always myths and anecdotes surrounding famous philosophers. Otherwise it would be boring.

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