Neither Victims nor Executioners: Camus as Public Intellectual

  • John Foley
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


As a public intellectual—a writer who engaged publicly with matters of public importance—Albert Camus made significant contributions to a wide range of critical public debates in post-war France. In this chapter, Foley examines Camus’s attempt to introduce a moral vocabulary into the principal political debates of his time. Through an examination of Camus’s on-going debates with Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jean Paul Sartre, and in particular Camus’s career as an essayist and journalist, Foley argues that Camus’s refusal to offer a philosophical justification for violence sets him apart from fellow writers on the Left at that time and also is indicative of his exemplary contribution as a public intellectual.


Political Violence Public Intellectual Absolute Freedom French Army Relative Silence 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Foley
    • 1
  1. 1.National University of IrelandGalwayRepublic of Ireland

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