Alex Holzman asks what a hero is, and if Camus’ infamous character qualifies.
Suppose someone had risked their life to save Adolph Hillter from certain death back in Nazi Germany. A hero? Suppose a doctor risked her freedom and performed safe abortions in a jurisdiction where abortion was deemed a capital crime. A hero? Suppose someone believed that Donald Trump was a danger to democracy here in America, and set out to assassinate him. A hero?The Essence of Heroism
The answer lies perhaps in a deconstruction of the terms ‘heroic’ and ‘heroic deeds’. What does it mean to behave heroically? Self-sacrifice, generosity, piety, humility, and such traits are sometimes considered central to heroics, but that’s certainly not always the case.
Who are the heroes right now in Ukraine and in the Gaza Strip? Who are the heroes in regard to AI technology...those advancing it leaps and bounds or those attempting to rein it in its potential dangers?
Are the capitalists the heroes or the socialists?
You can risk your own life in any number of particular contexts. No one would be able to deny that. Heroics revolving around the act of risking one's life. The "for better or worse" consequences embedded in the context itself.This is a conflation of moral heroics with heroics of a more general nature. Many historical and fictional heroes were neither unwaveringly moral nor particularly interested in morality.
Sure, ignore the moral and political consequences of heroic behavior altogether. Make it a purely "technical" account. Or scratch out the part about courage and make it more about "outstanding achievements, or noble qualities."A more Hegelian conception of ‘hero’ might simply be an influential figure in history – a Napoleon or Caesar, a Stalin or Mao: someone who moves the historical process along. The similarities between these barbarous heroes and the more palatable ones (Christ, Gandhi, etc) are scarce, but essential to understanding the nature of heroics.
Then each side can line up and name their own heroes.