From the bestselling author of Assholes: A Theory, a book that—in the tradition of Shopclass as Soulcraft, Barbarian Days and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—uses the experience and the ethos of surfing to explore key concepts in philosophy.
The existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once declared "the ideal limit of aquatic sports . . . is waterskiing." The avid surfer and lavishly credentialed academic philosopher Aaron James vigorously disagrees, and in Surfing with Sartre he intends to expound the thinking surfer's view of the matter, in the process elucidating such philosophical categories as freedom, being, phenomenology, morality, epistemology, and even the emerging values of what he terms "leisure capitalism." In developing his unique surfer-philosophical worldview, he draws from his own experience of surfing and from surf culture and lingo, and includes many relevant details from the lives of the philosophers, from Aristotle to Wittgenstein, with whose thought he engages. In the process, he'll speak to readers in search of personal and social meaning in our current anxious moment, by way of doing real, authentic philosophy.
Aaron James holds a PhD from Harvard and is professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Assholes: A Theory, Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump, and Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy and numerous academic articles. He was awarded a Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, and spent the 2009-10 academic year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He's an avid, lifelong surfer and lives in Irvine, California.