Albert Camus

Albert Camus
Albert Camus
  • Born: November 7, 1913
  • Died: January 4, 1960
  • Nationality: French
  • Profession: Philosopher









Quote Topics Cited
A free press can of course be good or bad, but most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad. Media, Journalism & The Press
A free press may be good or bad, but without freedom a press can only be bad. Media, Journalism & The Press
A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
A tyrant is a man who sacrifices a whole nation to his ideal or his ambition. Miscellaneous
Absolute justice is achieved by the suppression of all contradictions; therefore it destroys freedom. Justice & Injustice
All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State. Power ;Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Can this be happiness, this terrifying freedom? Freedom & Liberty
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. ;, Don't walk behind me I may not lead. ;, Walk beside me, and just be my friend. Leaders & Leadership
Every revolutionary ends up either by becoming an oppressor or a heretic. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
Freedom is not a reward or a decoration that is celebrated with champagne … It's a chore, on the contrary, and a long-distance race, quite solitary and very exhausting. Freedom & Liberty
He who despairs over an event is a coward. He who holds hope for the human condition is a fool. Human Nature
History is simply man’s desperate bid to give substance to his most visionary dreams. History
How many crimes committed merely because their authors could not endure being wrong. Human Nature
I have always been horrified by death sentences, and I decided, as an individual at least, that I could not participate in one, even by abstention … Tell him from me that I did not add my signature to yours for his sake, nor for the person whom I despise with all the force that is in me. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
I love my country too much to be a nationalist. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
If the only significant history of human thought were to be written, it would have to be the history of its successive regrets and its impotencies. History
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 ... Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
It was in Spain that men learned that we can be right and yet be beaten, that force can vanquish spirit, that there are times when courage is not its own reward. It is this, doubtless, which explains why so many men, the world over, regarded the Spanish drama as a personal tragedy. War & Peace
Men who have greatness within them don't go into politics. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear. Respect ;Miscellaneous
Paris fights today so that France can speak tomorrow. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured, but we can reduce the number of tortured children. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Politics and the fate of mankind are shaped by men without ideals and without greatness. Men who have greatness within them don’t go far in politics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
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. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
This is what separates us from you: We made demands. You were satisfied to serve the power of your nation, and we dreamed of giving ours her truth. States. Nations & Nationhood
What is a rebel? A man who says no. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
What then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be an equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal, who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him, and who from that moment onward had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
When principles fail, men have only one way to save them and to preserve their faith, which is to die for them. Miscellaneous
A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad. Freedom & Liberty
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing. Truth
After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
After all, every murderer when he kills runs the risk of the most dreadful of deaths, whereas those who kill him risk nothing except promotion.
Against eternal injustice, man must assert justice, and to protest against the universe of grief, he must create happiness. Happiness & Unhappiness
Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful. Religion & God
Alas, after a certain age every man is responsible for his face.
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.
All that I know most surely about morality and obligations I owe to football.
An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures - be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. Nature
Basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all, there is only absurdity, and more absurdity. And maybe that's what gives us our joy for living, because the only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity. Life
Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time. Time
Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken. Moving On
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads? Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness
By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more. Government
Charm is a way of getting the answer 'Yes' without asking a clear question.
Conscious of not being able to separate myself from my time, I have decided to become part of it. Time
Culture: the cry of men in face of their destiny.
Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. Friendship
Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.
Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
Every artist preserves deep within him a single source from which, throughout his lifetime, he draws what he is, and what he says. When the source dries up, the work withers and crumbles. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and that is its whole secret. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.
Every man, and for stronger reasons, every artist, wants to be recognized. So do I.
Every time somebody speaks of my honesty, there is someone who quivers inside me. Time
For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium. Death
For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. Life
Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. Freedom & Liberty
He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool. Hope
Heroism is accessible. Happiness is more difficult. Happiness & Unhappiness
How can sincerity be a condition of friendship? A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing. Truth ;Friendship
How hard, how bitter it is to become a man!
I am not made for politics because I am incapable of wanting or accepting the death of the adversary. Death ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I draw from the Absurd three consequences: my revolt, my liberty, my passion.
I grew up with the sea, and poverty for me was sumptuous; then I lost the sea and found all luxuries gray and poverty unbearable.
I have never been able to renounce the light, the pleasure of being, and the freedom in which I grew up. Freedom & Liberty
I know of only one duty, and that is to love.
I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I was born poor and without religion, under a happy sky, feeling harmony, not hostility, in nature. I began not by feeling torn, but in plenitude. Nature ;Religion & God
I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is. Life ;Religion & God
In order to exist just once in the world, it is necessary never again to exist.
In order to exist, man must rebel, but rebellion must respect the limits that it discovers in itself - limits where minds meet, and in meeting, begin to exist. Respect
In order to speak about all and to all, one has to speak of what all know and of the reality common to us all. The sea, rains, necessity, desire, the struggle against death... these are things that unite us all. Death
In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. Nature
Integrity has no need of rules.
It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Money, Coins & Minting
It is necessary to fall in love... if only to provide an alibi for all the random despair you are going to feel anyway. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
It is normal to give away a little of one's life in order not to lose it all. Life
It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.
It's a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money. Money, Coins & Minting
Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. Life
Lying is not only saying what isn't true. It is also, in fact especially, saying more than is true and, in the case of the human heart, saying more than one feels. We all do it, every day, to make life simpler. Life
Man is an idea, and a precious small idea once he turns his back on love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.
Man wants to live, but it is useless to hope that this desire will dictate all his actions. Hope
Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood - never.
Men are convinced of your arguments, your sincerity, and the seriousness of your efforts only by your death. Death
Men are never really willing to die except for the sake of freedom: therefore they do not believe in dying completely. Freedom & Liberty
Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears. Inspiration
Methods of thought which claim to give the lead to our world in the name of revolution have become, in reality, ideologies of consent and not of rebellion.
No cause justifies the deaths of innocent people.
No matter what cause one defends, it will suffer permanent disgrace if one resorts to blind attacks on crowds of innocent people.
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Note, besides, that it is no more immoral to directly rob citizens than to slip indirect taxes into the price of goods that they cannot do without.
One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves.
Only a philosophy of eternity, in the world today, could justify non-violence.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present. Future
Real nobility is based on scorn, courage, and profound indifference.
Rebellion cannot exist without the feeling that somewhere, in some way, you are justified.
Retaliation is related to nature and instinct, not to law. Law, by definition, cannot obey the same rules as nature. Nature
Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.
Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.
The absurd depends as much on man as on the world. For the moment, it is all that links them together.
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth. Truth
The artist forges himself to the others, midway between the beauty he cannot do without and the community he cannot tear himself away from. That is why true artists scorn nothing: they are obliged to understand rather than to judge.
The day when I am no more than a writer I shall cease to be a writer.
The desire for possession is insatiable, to such a point that it can survive even love itself. To love, therefore, is to sterilize the person one loves. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.
The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The myth of unlimited production brings war in its train as inevitably as clouds announce a storm. War & Peace
The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.
The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The only really committed artist is he who, without refusing to take part in the combat, at least refuses to join the regular armies and remains a freelance.
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. Freedom & Liberty
The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.
The role of the intellectual cannot be to excuse the violence of one side and condemn that of the other.
The society based on production is only productive, not creative. Society
The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
The world is never quiet, even its silence eternally resounds with the same notes, in vibrations which escape our ears. As for those that we perceive, they carry sounds to us, occasionally a chord, never a melody.
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.
There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.
There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.
There is the good and the bad, the great and the low, the just and the unjust. I swear to you that all that will never change.
There will be no lasting peace either in the heart of individuals or in social customs until death is outlawed. Death ;War & Peace
Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.
Those who weep for the happy periods which they encounter in history acknowledge what they want; not the alleviation but the silencing of misery. History
Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.
To abandon oneself to principles is really to die - and to die for an impossible love which is the contrary of love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
To assert in any case that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no-one in his right mind will believe this today. Society
To be famous, in fact, one has only to kill one's landlady. Fame
To be happy we must not be too concerned with others.
To correct a natural indifference I was placed half-way between misery and the sun. Misery kept me from believing that all was well under the sun, and the sun taught me that history wasn't everything. History
To cut short the question of the law of retaliation, we must note that even in its primitive form it can operate only between two individuals of whom one is absolutely innocent, and the other absolutely guilty. The victim, to be sure, is innocent. But can the society that is supposed to represent the victim lay claim to innocence? Society
To govern means to pillage, as everyone knows.
To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well. Time ;Religion & God
To know oneself, one should assert oneself. Motivation
Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.
Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Truth is mysterious, elusive, always to be conquered. Liberty is dangerous, as hard to live with as it is elating. We must march toward these two goals, painfully but resolutely, certain in advance of our failings on so long a road. Truth
Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object. Truth
Violence is both unavoidable and unjustifiable.
Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love - first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We are all special cases.
We call first truths those we discover after all the others.
We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die. Life
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race which daily hastens us towards death, the body maintains its irreparable lead. Death
We rarely confide in those who are better than we are.
We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible. Religion & God
What is a rebel? A man who says no: but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation.
What the world requires of the Christians is that they should continue to be Christians.
When you have really exhausted an experience you always reverence and love it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much? Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future. Society ;Future ;Freedom & Liberty
Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others. Freedom & Liberty ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Working conditions for me have always been those of the monastic life: solitude and frugality. Except for frugality, they are contrary to my nature, so much so that work is a violence I do to myself. Life ;Nature ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
You have to be very rich or very poor to live without a trade.
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. Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness
Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them. Happiness & Unhappiness