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Andrea Borghini

Surfing and Philosophy

By September 30, 2012

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"Mr. Palomar sees a wave rise in the distance, grow, approach, change form and color, fold over itself, break, vanish, and flow again. At this point he could convince himself that he has concluded the operation he had set out to achieve, and he could go away. But isolating one wave is not easy ..." Thus begins Italo Calvino's Palomar, with a metaphysical interrogation on the confines of a wave. As a long-time surfer and philosopher, with a special interest in metaphysics, Calvino's speculations have always resounded familiar and just right. But there is a lot more to the philosophy of surfing, as I have (at least partially) discussed in this recent piece. A few years ago, Peter Kreeft, a philosophy professor at Boston College, dedicated also a book to the topic: I Surf, Therefore I am. A Philosophy of Surfing, St. Augustines Press, 2008. Philosophers with a special eye for surfing, and surfers with a special eye for philosophy, should definitely check it out!

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