A Philosophy of Walking

By Frederic Gros, Clifford Harper (illustrator), John Howe (translator)

Book cover of A Philosophy of Walking

Book description

It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.
- Nietzsche

By walking, you escape from the very idea of identity, the temptation to be someone, to have a name and a history ... The freedom in walking lies in not being anyone; for the walking body has…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked A Philosophy of Walking as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I was gifted this book recently and it is the gift that keeps on giving.

I am an avid walker and the way the author interspersed poignant life stories with his own on walking was lovingly poetic. This quote “the walker is king, and the earth is his domain” is the one that defines the entire message of the book. I’ve been on many pilgrimages in life and witnessed many a transformation but none like the ones these philosophers uncover.

It was a joy to read the profound messages in staying present while walking as exercise. Grab a friend and…

From Erin's list on inspiring authentic transformation.

Walking as thinking has a long history, traced back at least to the Peripatetics of Ancient Greece, and this Socratic tradition is seen in more recent thinkers, writers, and poets. This is the central theme of the French philosopher Frédéric Gros’s book A Philosophy of Walking.

It is two things: an examination of the philosophy of various great thinkers, from Rousseau to Kant, Nietzsche to Thoreau. But it is also a manifesto on the nature of walking itself, whether a ramble, a march, or a parade.

Gros’s writing is short, to the point, and clinical, and this makes it beautiful…

From Jim's list on walking and the magic of paths.

A Philosophy of Walking reads like strolling-paced poetry. It argues, for example, that walking allows for different silences. The silence of a woodland’s clumping trees is ‘tremulous, uneasy’. The silence of mountains under a hot sun is ‘blinding, mineral, shattering’. Amongst the benefits of walking, Gros includes freedom, peace, and space to think. He tells us that philosophers such as Henry Thoreau and Nietzsche found walking to provide cures for melancholy, and writer’s block. Rousseau used walking as a kind of mediation, covering ‘immense distances on foot’—due to poverty and inclination. For Gros, when we walk, we are put in…

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