Monday, March 8, 2010

Martial Arts and Philosophy: On Amazon Now

My next book, co-edited with Graham Priest, is Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness.

I'll write more about this close to publication time in September 2010.

But for those who're interested, it's available for pre-order on Amazon. A sample from the introduction:
A few years ago, we hosted a small conference at Melbourne University: ‘Philosophy and the Martial Arts’. There were speakers, papers, chit-chat and pizza – all very standard, really. But anyone walking in from the street may have been shocked or baffled. Here were a gaggle of philosophy professors, lecturers and postgraduates, discussing how to survive a knife attack, the use of walking sticks as weapons, the pain of sword wounds, and the best way to get blood out of clothes.

By day, they lectured on logic or social justice, chatted to students and colleagues, wrote books and papers, and lamented the clogged email inbox. Their daily university routine, while not dull (well, not all the time), was quite genteel, peaceful, and cerebral.

But a few nights a week, and sometimes on weekends, many of these scholars changed. They left behind their normal gentility, and became violent. Instead of talking about truth and beauty over coffee with colleagues, they put up their fists, unsheathed their blades or grabbed their sticks. Instead of their usual shirts and jeans, they donned strange uniforms, often stained with acrid sweat, and occasionally with blood. These polite, intelligent scholars had suffered broken arms, ribs and fingers, spinal bruising, countless bloodied noses and black eyes – and no doubt given out a few of their own. Alongside their pen driving and keyboard tapping, they’d swung fists, stabbed with swords.

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