Surfing with Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre once declared waterskiing to be “the ideal limit of aquatic sports.” Aaron James, who is both an avid surfer and a professor of philosophy, vigorously disagrees. In these pages, he presents his surfer’s worldview as a foil to Sartre’s, along the way 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’s philosophy, he draws from surf culture and lingo—and engages with philosophers from Aristotle to Wittgenstein. In the process, he speaks to those of us in search of personal and social meaning—particularly in our current anxious moment—by way of real, authentic philosophy. In or out of the water.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 a skilled, lifelong surfer and lives in Irvine, California.