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The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad Reviews

The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad by Emily Thomas (Associate Professor, Durham University)

The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad

Emily Thomas (Associate Professor, Durham University)

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2 reviews

Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 13 Feb 2020
ISBN: 9780198835400

The first ever history of the places where history and philosophy meet, from the Age of Discovery in the sixteenth century to contemplation of how space travel will affect our understanding of who we are in the twenty-first. This book will reshape your understanding of travel.

4 stars out of 5
1 Mar 2020

"Flashes of humour are welcome in a book sometimes clubbed by the dead hand of academia"

Towards the end, Thomas discusses ‘the ethics of doom tourism’, prompted by the thought that many of the places we like to visit may cease to exist as climate change marches on; even ‘the act of visiting “at-risk” places’ like Venice or the Maldives ‘may hasten their demise’. The kinds of ethical problems Thomas discusses may, she concludes, ‘come to overshadow all other issues in the philosophy of travel’. On the whole, though, and sensibly, the author does not conclusively answer the questions she poses about the ethics of travel. This is not a proscriptive book but it is an exceptionally thoughtful one.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
22 Feb 2020

"a manifesto for the virtues that travel can bestow on the traveller"

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.