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The Meaning of Travel
"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.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
A highly enjoyable and stimulating read - definitely a good book to take with you on your travels. * David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer * 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 * A highly enjoyable and stimulating read - definitely a good book to take with you on your travels. * Paradigm Explorer * A unique and extraordinary read that is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. * The Midwest Book Review * 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 * No one could ask for a more congenial companion than Emily Thomas on her 2,000-plus year journey through The Meaning of Travel ... an engaging primer on how travel has transformed both what we know and how we think. * Richard Larschan, The Times Higher Education Supplement, Book of the Week 02/04/2020 * 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 *