Sailing - Philosophy For Everyone: Catching the Drift of Why We Sail
July 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
- Unravels the philosophical mysteries behind one of the oldest organized human activities
- Features contributions from philosophers and academics as well as from sailors themselves
- Enriches appreciation of the sport by probing its meaning and value
- Brings to life the many applications of philosophy to sailing and the profound lessons it can teach us
- A thought-provoking read for sailors and philosophers alike
Foreword: The Craft and the Mystery viii
The Philosophical Sailor: An Introduction to Sailing
– Philosophy for Everyone xiv
PART 1 PASSING THROUGH PAIN AND FEAR IN THE PLACE OF PERPETUAL UNDULATION 1
1 Ships of Wood and Men of Iron: Voyaging the Old-Fashioned
Way and Seeking Meaning in Adversity 3
2 Winning Philosophy: Developing Patience, Inner Strength,
and an Eye for the Good Lanes 12
3 "Hard a' Lee": Why the Work of Sailing Can Be Great Fun
4 Solo Sailing as Spiritual Practice: A Phenomenology of
Mastery and Failure at Sea 36
PART 2 THE MEANING OF THE BOAT THREE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT 47
5 Buddha’s Boat: The Practice of Zen in Sailing
6 Freedom of the Seas: The Stoic Sailor 61
Gregory Bassham and Tod Bassham
7 Sailors of the Third Kind: Sailing and Self-Becoming in the
Shadow of Heraclitus 72
PART 3 BEAUTY AND OTHER AESTHETIC ASPECTS OF THE SAILING EXPERIENCE 83
8 What the Race to Mackinac Means 85
9 Sailing, Flow, and Fulfillment 96
10 On the Crest of the Wave: The Sublime, Tempestuous,
Graceful, and Existential Facets of Sailing 109
Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza, Luísa Gagliardini Graça, and José Ángel Jáuregui-Olaiz
11 Navigating What Is Valuable and Steering a Course in Pursuit
of Happiness 122
Jesse Steinberg and Michael Stuckart
PART 4 PHYSICS AND METAPHYSICS FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL SAILOR 133
12 Do You Have to Be (an) Einstein to Understand Sailing?
13 Paradoxes of Sailing: The Physics of Sailing and the
Import of Thought Experiments 148
John D. Norton
14 The Necessity of Sailing: Of Gods, Fate, and the Sea
Tamar M. Rudavsky and Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody
15 The Channel: An Old Drama by Which the Soul of a Healthy
Man is Kept Alive 176
Notes on Contributors 180
Patrick Goold is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Wesleyan College. His current research focuses on defining rationality. He is co-editor with Steven Emmanuel of the Blackwell anthology Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Nietzsche. Patrick is passionate about sailing, and, in addition to maintaining a small daysailer and a cruising boat of his own, frequently crews on the boats of others. The bays and sounds of Virginia and North Carolina are his home waters but he has sailed the length of the East Coast of the United States from Hilton Head to Long Island Sound, made a Bermuda crossing, done club racing in Brittany, and cruised in the Lesser Antilles.
Fritz Allhoff is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy department at Western Michigan University, as well as a senior research fellow at the Australian National University’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. In addition to editing the Philosophy for Everyone series, he is also the volume editor or co-editor for several titles, including Wine and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), Whiskey and Philosophy (with Marcus P. Adams, Wiley, 2009), and Food and Philosophy (with Dave Monroe, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007). His academic research interests engage various facets of applied ethics, ethical theory, and the history and philosophy of science.
“I highly recommend the wisdom filled and engaging book Sailing - Philosophy For Everyone: Catching the Drift of Why We Sail edited by Patrick Goold, to any students who study philosophy, students of any disciplines, practicing sailors, or anyone interested in the great and timeless questions posed by philosophy since the beginning of time. This book is one that you will return to for inspiration, wisdom, and solace again and again.” (Blog Business World, 2 February 2013)
“I highly recommend the wisdom filled and engaging book Sailing - Philosophy For Everyone: Catching the Drift of Why We Sailedited by Patrick Goold, to any students who study philosophy, students of any disciplines, practicing sailors, or anyone interested in the great and timeless questions posed by philosophy since the beginning of time. This book is one that you will return to for inspiration, wisdom, and solace again and again.” (MoneyTalks,
3 February 2013)
“Edited by a professor of philosophy and with a (very good) foreword by yachting writer John Rousmaniere, this essay collection probes why we sail and what we can learn from it.” (Classic Boat, 1 October 2012)
"Sailing, moving from one place to another either for discovery or for economic survival reason must be the earliest mode of transport know to mankind that invloved technology i.e a boat and a sail."(Existential Analysis, January 2015)
What drives someone to row across the Atlantic or sail, single-handed, around the globe? What does it feel like to be a human, alone, in the middle of a huge ocean?
Sailing – it’s an unpredictable and dangerous activity and yet it has woven its way into the hearts and souls of many for centuries. So, just what is it about sailing that makes it so appealing? What meaning and value does it have as a sport or hobby and are there lessons that we can learn from this most ancient of crafts? In order to answer these questions and more, Sailing brings together a collection of stimulating essays from a range of contributors, all of whom have a personal engagement with sailing.
“The mystery of the sea is shared by all sailors, even (perhaps especially) the most technically gifted masters of the craft.” -John Rousmaniere
With articles from a range of contributors, all of whom sail, and covering topics that include the beauty of the sailing experience to the meaning of the boat, what this fascinating collection reveals is that sailing is as much a lesson in life as it is a journey on the high seas. Sailing is about freedom and commitment, fear and joy, belief and transformation, mystery and the stripping away of the distractions of modern life. It is about pitting your wits against Nature's fiercest elements - wind and water - and putting yourself into life-threatening situations that require swiftness of thought and resourcefulness rarely demanded in the lives of landlubbers.
Out on the water, connections with the larger human drama are made. Meaning and value grow. For the philosophical sailor, sailing becomes bigger and more real. Demonstrating how philosophy can help us grasp the meaning, aims and satisfactions of sailing, this is the perfect book for anyone who has had a moment on a boat when time stood still and they discovered another world...
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