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Although Le Corbusier never explicitly defined his concept of self, Richards finds extensive evidence of it in the urbanist's writings and work. Richards argues that Le Corbusier was indebted to Enlightenment philosopher Blaise Pascal, who believed the individual should withdraw from society and meditate in solitude on the nature of God and self. Le Corbusier's cities were designed accordingly to isolate people in cell-like apartments for the purpose of spiritual self-exploration. Richards explores Le Corbusier's position in 20th-century intellectual life in the light of this fresh understanding, and he identifies a previously unrecognized alignment between the thought of Le Corbusier and of such figures as Albert Camus and Georges Bataille.