25 February 2012

Interview: Alan Saunders with Damon Young, "Beating and Nothingness: Martial Arts and Philosophy", The Philosopher's Zone, Radio National

In a recent interview with grappler and fellow in philosophy Damon Young, Young states that "combat teaches you to lose, and lose honestly". Young's ethics of "losing well" thread through the remainder of this twenty-minute interview concerning his philosophical ethos of honst combat led by Alan Saunders, in which they discuss Young's leading chapter for the edited book, Martial Arts and Philosophy.

Influenced heavily by the customs and manners involved in various styles of Japanese martial arts (karate, aikido and judo in particular), Young conversationally presents his perspective on Platonic sportsmanship, Confucianism and Shinto and Zen Buddhist traditions, blended with a little conceptual spontaneity and epistemological honesty, in order to explore where the intersection of martial arts practice and ethical praxis may occur.
"[Martial arts] is partly physically intimate because you are hurting and you are touching this other person's body, but it's also intimate because you start to understand that other person's rhythms, their cadence, their physical style. In order to do that you have to be honest."
Young edited Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness with Graham Priest in 2010 as part of the Open Court's Pop Culture and Philosophy series. Anyone engaging in this field of thought may also be interested in Martial Arts and Philosophy Conference taking place in Halifax, Canada on 8-9 June of this year, at which Damon Young is also a keynote speaker.

No comments: