Martial arts and philosophy : beating and nothingness



Martial arts and philosophy : beating and nothingness

edited by Graham Priest and Damon Young

(Popular culture and philosophy / series editor, William Irwin, v. 53)

Open Court, c2010

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Includes index



Martial arts and philosophy have always gone hand in hand, as well as fist in throat. Philosophical argument is closely paralleled with hand-to-hand combat. And all of today's Asian martial arts were developed to embody and apply philosophical ideas. In his interview with Bodidharma, Graham Priest brings out aspects of Buddhist philosophy behind Shaolin Kung-Fu -- how fighting monks are seeking Buddhahood, not brawls. But as Scott Farrell's chapter reveals, Eastern martial arts have no monopoly on philosophical traditions: Western chivalry is an education in and living revival of Aristotelian ethical theories. Several chapters look at ethical problems raised by the fighting arts. How can the sweaty and brutal be exquisitely beautiful? Every chapter is easily understandable by readers new to martial arts or new to philosophy.

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