2007 Abstracts Stage 2

Why do many people risk their lives for the thrill of surfing?

Adam Newton, 2007, Stage 2

Territory: This project will focus on the development of surfing from its roots in Hawaiian culture to the position we find it in today. The key points in this progression will provide indications of the motivating factors behind the world’s top surfers. Object: • Kelly Slater – 8 Time world champion and arguably the greatest competitive surfer of all time • Laird Hamilton – Big wave pioneer who helped develop tow-in surfing Philosophy: The work of Hobbes and Hegel will form the foundation of the philosophical content. Hobbes’ social theory will help to place surfing in context with the ever changing situations that are a result of the cultures we experience. However, his concept of the state of nature in which we find humans stripped down to their most primitive form provides a strong argument to suggest extreme sports such as surfing are irrational and unnecessarily dangerous. The analysis of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit will provide an alternative approach to nature of risk taking.

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