Philosopher-authors, Nick Riggle and Aaron James will be at The Book Catapult discussing and signing their books on Friday, February 23rd at 7:00pm. Nick's book is On Being Awesome: A Unified Theory of How Not to Suck and Aaron's latest is Surfing with Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry into a Life of Meaning. Nick and Aaron will be discussing philosophy, awesomeness, surfing, and what it all means.
About Nick's book: We all know people who are awesome and people who suck, but what do we really mean by these terms? Have you ever been chill or game? Do you rock or rule? If so, then you’re tapped into the ethics of awesomeness. Awesome people excel at creating social openings that encourage expressions of individuality and create community. And if you’re a cheapskate, self-promoter, killjoy, or douchebag, you’re the type of person who shuts social openings down. Put more simply: You suck. From street art to folk singers, Proust to the great etiquette writer Emily Post, President Obama to former Los Angeles Dodger Glenn Burke, Riggle draws on pop culture, politics, history, and sports to explore the origins of awesome, and delves into the nuances of what it means to suck and why it’s so important to strive for awesomeness. An accessible and entertaining lens for navigating the ethics of our time, On Being Awesome provides a new and inspiring framework for understanding ourselves and creating meaningful connections in our everyday lives.
About Aaron's book: The existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once declared “the ideal limit of aquatic sports... is waterskiing.” The avid surfer and lavishly credentialed academic philosopher Aaron James vigorously disagrees, and in Surfing with Sartre he intends to expound the thinking surfer’s view of the matter, in the process elucidating such philosophical categories as freedom, being, phenomenology, morality, epistemology, and even the emerging values of what he terms “leisure capitalism.” In developing his unique surfer-philosophical worldview, he draws from his own experience of surfing and from surf culture and lingo, and includes many relevant details from the lives of the philosophers, from Aristotle to Wittgenstein, with whose thought he engages. In the process, he’ll speak to readers in search of personal and social meaning in our current anxious moment, by way of doing real, authentic philosophy.
About Nick: Nick Riggle dropped out of high school to become a pro-skater, participating in stunt shows, demos, and world class competitions (including three ESPN X Games appearances). He has a BA in philosophy from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from NYU, America’s leading philosophy program; he is currently a philosophy professor at the University of San Diego. He speaks widely at conferences and workshops and co-organized the first major academic conference on the philosophy of street art and graffiti. He continues to publish in key and notable philosophy journals, as well as more popular outlets including McSweeney’s, Aeon (on the high five, awesomeness and suckiness), and Hyperallergic. His current academic work focuses on the role of aesthetic value in human life and is supported by a grant from The Experience Project, a 4.8 million dollar, three-year initiative at UNC Chapel Hill and the University of Notre Dame.
About Aaron: Aaron James holds a PhD from Harvard and is professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Assholes: A Theory, Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump, and Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy and numerous academic articles. He was awarded a Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, and spent the 2009-10 academic year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He’s an avid, lifelong surfer and lives in Irvine, California.