Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind

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A unique anthology of essays exploring the philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run. It features writings from some of America’s leading philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum, Charles Taliaferro, and J.P. Moreland.

  • A first-of-its-kind collection of essays exploring those gems of philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run
  • Topics considered include running and the ...
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A unique anthology of essays exploring the philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run. It features writings from some of America’s leading philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum, Charles Taliaferro, and J.P. Moreland.

  • A first-of-its-kind collection of essays exploring those gems of philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run
  • Topics considered include running and the philosophy of friendship; the freedom of the long distance runner; running as aesthetic experience, and “Could a Zombie Run a Marathon?”
  • Contributing essayists include philosophers with athletic experience at the collegiate level, philosophers whose pasttime is running, and one philosopher who began running to test the ideas in his essay
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With equal measures of scholarship and soul, the essays in Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind, edited by Michael W. Austin, touch on religion, pain, happiness, and other topics that are best explored on a long run. With a pack of philosophers." (Runner's World, November 2007)

"The contributors are runners who approach the subject of running and philosophy sympathetically…there is enough in [the book] to the get the inner dialogue started." (Orange Community News)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405167970
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 960,818
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael W. Austin is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University. A member of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, Austin has been published in Journal for the Philosophy of Sport, Southwest Philosophy Review, The Journal of Value Inquiry, Philosophy and Theology, and International Philosophical Quarterly. He is also the author of Conceptions of Parenthood: Ethics and the Family (2007).

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Amby Burfoot, Executive Editor, Runner’s World magazine, and 1968 Boston Marathon Champion).

Preface: Warming Up Before the Race.


1. Long-Distance Running and the Will to Power (Raymond Angelo Belliotti, State University of New York at Fredonia).

2. Chasing Happiness Together: Running and the Philosophy of Friendship (Michael W. Austin, Eastern Kentucky University).

3. Running With the Seven Cs of Success (Gregory Bassham, King’s College, Pennsylvania).

4. The Phenomenology of Becoming a Runner (J. Jeremy Wisnewski, Hartwick College).

5. In Praise of the Jogger (Raymond J. VanArragon, Bethel University).

6. Running Religiously (Jeffrey P. Fry, Ball State University).

7. Hash Runners and Hellenistic Philosophers (Richard DeWitt, Fairfield University).

8. What Motivates an Early Morning Runner (Kevin Kinghorn, Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford).

9. A Runner’s Pain (Chris Kelly, University of Maryland).

10. Performance-Enhancement and the Pursuit of Excellence (William P. Kabasenche, Washington State University).

11. The Freedom of the Long-Distance Runner (Heather L. Reid, Morningside College).

12. Existential Running (Ross C. Reed, Rhodes College).

13. Can We Experience Significance on a Treadmill? (Douglas R. Hochstetler, Penn State University, Lehigh Valley).

14. Running in Place or Running in Its Proper Place (J. P. Moreland, Biola University).

15. The Running Life: Getting in Touch with Your Inner Hunter-Gatherer (Sharon Kaye, John Carroll University).

16. John Dewey and the Beautiful Stride: Running as Aesthetic Experience (Christopher Martin, Institute of Education, University of London).

17. Where the Dark Feelings Hold Sway: Running to Music (Martha C. Nussbaum, University of Chicago).

18. The Power of Passion on Heartbreak Hill (Michelle Maiese, Emmanuel College).

19. The Soul of the Runner (Charles Taliaferro and Rachel Traughber, St. Olaf College).


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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Two different activities that complement each other greatly!

    Though I have read very few pop culture & philosophy books all the way through, this is one of the best ones I have read. Not only do many of the essays connect to well known philosophers and ideas, but many other essays seem very original in their thesis and their conclusions. The best part about this book, though, is that nearly all of essays are easily relatable as anyone who has ever done even a short mile or 5K race can instantly understand what the author is talking about when they mention something about running. It doesn't hurt that many of the best authors seem to be runners themselves and imbue their essays with their own personal experiences. However, at times the book suffers from what many pop culture & philosophy books suffer from: essays and ideas that are not explained very well and go way over the heads of the readers. One essay in particular started talking about "zombies" without explaining what he was talking about. It took me half of the essay to figure out what he meant. Overall, while this book won't make you a better runner or be as necessary as a good pair of running shoes, but the topics discussed will keep you thinking on those long runs.

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