Emily Thomas, "The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad" (Oxford UP, 2020)


Travel has been a topic lurking in the background (at least) of a lot of philosophy. Socrates was keen to remind his jury as well as his interlocutor Phaedrus that he had spent nearly his entirely life within the city of Athens. For another example, Descartes saw fit to take the intellectual journey of his Meditations from a room in a foreign country. But that’s not all: many great philosophical works comment on the value of travel: think here of the reflections that close Rousseau’s Emile. In The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad (Oxford University Press, 2020), Emily Thomas picks up this longstanding, though now generally overlooked, philosophical concern with travel. This fascinating book not only reflects on the philosophical significance of travel, but is also a philosophical travelogue in its own right.

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Robert Talisse

Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

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