chapter  4
Philosophy outdoors: First person physical
ByJOHN (MICHAEL) ATHERTON
Pages 13

Five people huddle around a campfire. Two couples have just canoed a white water rapids and chatter on and on about it. The fifth has never whitewatered, though he has seen movies and read books on it. While the couples try to include the fifth person in the conversation, it soon veers into excited first-hand reporting that leaves him outside. Activities, such as paddling, biking, climbing, sailing, and swimming, found in Outdoor Kinetic Experience (OKE) venues, such as rivers, paths, rock faces, and lagoons, offer people varied opportunities for philosophic reflection. While engaged in such activities, people may need to focus their attention selectively. Out on the trail and in the river people often have their habits of thinking challenged and experience changes in perspective. OKEs help people generate energy and enthusiasm for philosophic reflection even as their experience expands what constitutes the proper domain and methods of philosophy. Finally, the physical nature of OKEs can open people to the wisdom of the body. This is not a bad list, especially if we consider that it encourages us to canoe, sail, climb rock, and still call it philosophy.