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Philosophy and Skiing

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A new project that combines documentary film-making, extreme skiing, and philosophy, has been seeing some success. The project is a short film called Comfort Zones. It was co-produced by Philip Ebert, a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and also one of the skiers featured in the film. The film also includes an interview with Laurie Paul, professor of philosophy and cognitive science at Yale University. The movie, released earlier this year, has been positively reviewed (for example) and featured in a number of film festivals. It is just over ten minutes long. You can check it out at the end of this post. I asked Dr. Ebert if he could say a little about the film. Here’s what he shared: In April 2018, I found myself wearing my ski outfit and clipped into my skis in the middle of my hometown’s shopping centre staring down a slowly approaching camera. This was, arguably, the only time when I would have preferred being in my office marking philosophy exams than being involved in a ski movie. The rest was a blast: over six beautiful days that winter we gathered footage for a Scottish ski movie with film-maker Stefan Morrocco. The initial script was simple: trace the progression from a resort skier to an off-piste “steep” skier, while also highlighting the beauty of the rarely skied Scottish mountains. Somehow, however, through our conversations driving to the mountains, the movie’s script started to change and we included more philosophical themes. So, for example, there is a widespread disagreement about the degree of risk and value pursuing mountain sports. Mountaineers and off-piste skiers are often perceived as “irresponsible” adrenaline junkies, an image further fueled by Red Bull-type advertisements and newspaper headlines. In contrast, most off-piste skiers put a lot of effort into developing new skills and competences to engage with these risks “responsibly”. However, these new competences will also. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

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