Running with the Pack: Thoughts from the Road on Meaning and Mortality

Running with the Pack: Thoughts from the Road on Meaning and Mortality

by Mark Rowlands
     
 

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Mark Rowlands explores the intimate relationship between running and philosophy in this brilliant and inspiring follow-up to The Philosopher and the Wolf
“Most of the serious thinking I have done over the past twenty years has been done while running,” says philosophy professor Mark Rowlands, who has run for most of his life. And for him, running and

Overview

Mark Rowlands explores the intimate relationship between running and philosophy in this brilliant and inspiring follow-up to The Philosopher and the Wolf
“Most of the serious thinking I have done over the past twenty years has been done while running,” says philosophy professor Mark Rowlands, who has run for most of his life. And for him, running and philosophizing are inextricably connected.
In Running with the Pack, he reveals the most significant runs of his life—from the entire day he spent running as a boy in Wales, to the runs along French beaches and up Irish mountains with his beloved wolf, Brenin, and through Florida swamps with his husky-mix, Nina. Intertwined with this honest, passionate, and witty memoir are the fascinating meditations that those runs triggered, from mortality, midlife, and the meaning of life.
A highly original and moving book that will make the philosophically inclined want to run, and those who love running become intoxicated by the beauty of philosophy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/02/2013
Professor of philosophy at the University of Miami Rowlands (The Philosopher and the Wolf) astutely blends the science of running with the meaning of life from his over two decades of pushing his body to the limits. He downplays notions of running as a healthy, serene activity, focusing instead on its relationship to the natural flow of our ever-shifting thoughts. Philosophy, according to Rowlands, once the domain of professionals and academics, now can be applied to anyone running a sprint or a marathon, solving any philosophical answer to the imagined finish line. He samples the ideas of thinkers like Spinoza, Descartes, Aristotle, Plato, Schopenhauer, and Wittgenstein like a hip D.J. mixing and blending from a vintage playlist. One of the interesting elements of the book is Rowlands's connection with "Brenin, the wolf, Nina, his dog-friend, and, Tess his wolf-dog daughter," who run with the author through various challenging terrains. Rowlands enchantingly depicts the inner world of the runner, complemented with wisdom of the animal realm and revelations of philosophical thought. (Nov.)
Robin Harvie
“Life-affirming.
Gets straight to the heart of why running has such an important place in our lives. Perfectly captures the essence of what happens when we lace up a pair of sneakers and close the door behind us.
Outstanding.”
Jeffrey Masson
“One of the most intense reading experiences of my life. It is a profound and beautiful book.”
Miami Herald - Connie Ogle
“Delightful and eye-opening.”
Frans de Wall
“Rarely has a single animal inspired such deep reflections on morality, mortality,and misanthropy.”
The Oprah Magazine O
“A
snarly misanthrope, Rowlands recovered his own humanity by loving a noble beast and (with a little help from Aristotle, Descartes, and Jack
Daniel's) learning to howl at the moon.”
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
“Delightful and eye-opening.”
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-05
Rowlands (Philosophy/Univ. of Miami; The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness, 2009, etc.) meditates on how running has brought him "in contact with the intrinsic value of life." The author reflects on his boyhood and carefree runs with his dog in the hills of his native Wales, with nothing in mind but the experience itself. This was a time when he first felt what he calls "the heartbeat of the run." Later in life, he ran more purposefully. At the age of 27, he acquired Brenin, a cuddly wolf cub. Running with Brenin was the only way to channel his exuberant pet's energy. With the later addition of two canines, the dogs in his pack became his regular running companions, and he describes how he was afflicted with "a rather unfortunate case of species-envy." Though running became a significant part of Rowlands' life, he writes, it took many years before he truly understood its value to him. In 2011, he decided to enter his first marathon, in Florida, where he lived with his wife, sons and dogs. Still, he questioned his motives. Was this a way of addressing a midlife crisis, proving to himself he was up to the challenge? Despite an injury incurred during training, he was able to get in sufficient shape to run, although his training was set back by the need to rest his leg. He describes his thinking process as he battled increasing pain and exhaustion and wondered whether he would collapse before the finish line. In the end, Rowlands concludes that, for him, running is not pleasurable in the usual sense but an experience valuable in itself--a "way of being rather than a way of feeling." A delightful re-creation of a memorable experience with special appeal for runners, pet lovers and the philosophically inclined.
Financial Times
“This year's most original and instructive work of popular philosophy. Rowlands is a rare contemporary philosopher who is able to learn from everything he experiences in life.”
Booklist
“Cerebral and heartfelt, Running with the Pack uses one man's history on the road as a foundation to investigate universal experiences.”
Running Times
“Provides an external reason to appreciate the intrinsic value of the run, such as Rowlands' pack did.”
Philosophy Now
“Rowlands is able to appreciate the important distinction between instrumental and intrinsic value, and he builds his case for the place of running in a flourishing human life in terms of this distinction. For Rowlands, our status as embodied creatures who have evolved in our particular way determines the kinds of intrinsic values accessible to us. Creates a rhythm that brings the reader in line with Rowlands's thoughts, and creates the space for philosophical insight.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605984773
Publisher:
Pegasus
Publication date:
11/06/2013
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Rowlands is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami and the author of The Philosopher and the Wolf.
His books have been translated into fifteen languages.

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