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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of A**holes: 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 listeners in search of personal and social meaning in our current anxious moment, by way of doing real, authentic philosophy.

©2017 Aaron James (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

" Surfing with Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry into a Life of Meaning by Aaron James [is] a great book. James is a philosophy professor. He's written a beautiful book, essentially a dialogue with Jean-Paul Sartre about work and play. He's arguing that working less and playing more, especially in the surf, is not only an okay choice but a moral one. He makes a beautiful argument for why leisure and dedication to nature is a moral imperative at this time. It might sound like a stretch but he builds a case. The book also gives you a good excuse to surf a little more." (Jaimal Yogis, author of Saltwater Buddha)

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