French Writer Albert Camus Quotes on Mankind, Life and Philosophy

French philosopher, writer and journalist Albert Camus (7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) labelled as an existentialist by many, was a believer of absurdist theory. He contributed his life in learning, raising questions about mortality and resolving the mysteries of human life on earth.

Born to French parents, Camus spent his entire childhood in a poor neighborhood of Alegria. His humble beginnings made him raise important philosophical questions about– the meaning of death, impermanence, suicide, and freedom.

Literary Achievements of Albert Camus:

As a student of philosophy, Camus explored different paradoxical shades of life. He started working on French Literature and became famous as an absurdist philosopher. His finest absurdist work includes– The Myth of Sisyphus, The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall. Becoming a writer had never been on his mind. But it became his only destination.

Camus used his learning and writing skills to give mankind some wisdom, which earned him a Nobel Prize in Literature. At age 44, he became the second youngest recipient of the honor, after Rudyard Kipling. So let’s take a sip of little wisdom, from the wise words of the French author himself. Here are some of the best Albert Camus Quotes on Mankind, Life and Philosophy.

Albert Camus on Life:

Life is meaningless, but worth living, provided you recognize it’s meaningless.

Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.

Live to the point of tears.

But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.

To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night.

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

When I look at my life and its secret colours, I feel like bursting into tears.

Life can be magnificent and overwhelming – that is the whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live.

Albert Camus on Mankind:

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.

Yes, everything is simple. It’s people who complicate things.

A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.

Poor and free rather than rich and enslaved. Of course, men want to be both rich and free, and this is what leads them at times to be poor and enslaved.

Against eternal injustice, man must assert justice, and to protest against the universe of grief, he must create happiness.

No cause justifies the deaths of innocent people.

An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.

Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people’s anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble – yes, gamble – with a whole part of their life and their so called ‘vital interests.

French Writer Albert Camus Quotes
       Credit: Albert Camus and his Philosophical Quest

Albert Camus on Philosophy:

In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.

Integrity has no need of rules.

Real nobility is based on scorn, courage, and profound indifference.

Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.

In the next few years the struggle will not be between utopia and reality, but between different utopias, each trying to impose itself on reality. We can no longer hope to save everything, but we can at least try to save lives, so that some kind of future, if perhaps not the ideal one, will remain possible.

Absolute freedom mocks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom. To be fruitful, the two ideas must find their limits in each other.

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.

Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.

The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.

Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.

Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but “steal” some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.

You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.

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. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.