This is the finest kind of travel: not just across continents, but through time, space and our infinite minds. The journey is the joy, and Emily Thomas a terrific guide. - Mike Parker How can we think more deeply about travel? This was the question that inspired Emily Thomas journey into the philosophy of travel. Part philosophical ramble, part travelogue, The Meaning of Travel begins in the Age of Discovery, when philosophers first started taking travel seriously. It meanders forward to consider Montaigne on otherness, John Locke on cannibals, and Henry Thoreau on wilderness. On our travels with Thomas, we discover the dark side of maps, how the philosophy of space fuelled mountain tourism, and why you should wash underwear in woodland cabins... We also confront profound issues, such as the ethics of 'doom tourism (travel to 'doomed' glaciers and coral reefs), and the effect of space travel on human significance in a leviathan universe. The first ever history of the places where history and philosophy meet, this book will reshape your understanding of travel.
Emily Thomas (Associate Professor Durham University)
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
01 March 2020
Travelling well: top 10 vintage trips 1: What is travel? Montaigne and otherness 2: What are maps? Brian Harley on cartographic deception 3: Francis Bacon on exploration and apocalyptic philosophy of science 4: Innate ideas on Descartes, Locke, and Cannibals 5: Why did tourism start? A grand tale of education and sex 6: Travel writing, thought experiments, and Margaret Cavendish's 'Blazing World' 7: Mountain travel and Henry More's philosophy of space 8: Edmund Burke and sublime tourism 9: Wilderness philosophy, Henry Thoreau, and cabin porn 10: Is 'travel' a male concept? 11: The ethics of doom tourism 12: Will space travel show the Earth is insignificant? Returning home: top 10 vintage trips Notes Select Bibliography Index
Emily Thomas is Associate Professor in Philosophy at Durham University. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge and worked in the Netherlands for three years before arriving at Durham. She has published extensively on the philosophy of space and time, as well as philosophical issues in travel. She has also spent a lot of time by herself getting lost around the world.
Reviews for The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad
At last - a book not about where we travel, but why. The Meaning of Travel illuminates the reasons weve been tempted to set out on untrodden paths for centuries. * Dea Birkett, author of Serpent in Paradise * This is the finest kind of travel: not just across continents, but through time, space and our infinite minds. The journey is the joy, and Emily Thomas a terrific guide. * Mike Parker * An original, engaging book... Emily Thomas has a lightness of touch that never undercuts the seriousness and complexities of the issues discussed. * Julian Baggini, author of How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy * Brilliantly researched and detailed, while staying humorous throughout, 'The Meaning of Travel' is a fantastic exploration of how travel can broaden the mind. * Stuart Kenny, Much Better Adventures (13 of the best travel books to read while you self-isolate) * A real delight... Treat yourself! * Peter Smith, Logic Matters * Novelty, knowledge and insight can be found in travel. It can make us wiser as well as better-informed ... having read this book, I am now both. * Graham Elliott, Standpoint * Exceptionally thoughtful. * Sara Wheeler, Literary Review * Emily Thomas has used her command of the philosophical canon to extend our understanding of an impulse that many of us share but few examine in such depth. The Meaning of Travel is a manifesto for the virtues that travel can bestow on the traveller not just an increase in knowledge, but a deep humility at the scale and diversity of the world, and an enduring wonder that we live on such a planet. * Philip Marsden, The Spectator *