Below is a Call for Abstracts that was recently emailed to me. (Official posting on PhilEvents.) Please review it and consider submitting an abstract for it.

This is also what Joshua Heter said about they and their co-editor, Josef’s backgrounds in skateboarding:

Josef is a skateboarder. He grew up in Los Angeles and got pretty good. I skated a bit in my younger days, but was never very good. But most of my close friends were skateboarders, and I’ve always had a real affection and appreciation for it.

I don’t know yet whether I’ll contribute to this, but the request seems to have given me some permission to think more about these topics than I’d apparently been allowing myself to do, despite evidently wanting to. 😁 I might end up writing my own things in response to some of these prompts and put them on this site or in an ebook of my own.

Call for Abstracts!

Skateboarding and Philosophy: A Brief History of Grind

Edited by Joshua Heter and Josef Thomas Simpson

Abstracts are sought for a collection of essays on any philosophical topic related to skateboarding (i.e. vert, street, or any other form of skateboarding) to be published with McFarland and Company, Inc. Publishers. Abstracts and eventual essays should be written for a broad, educated but non-specialized audience (with an approximate length of 3,000 – 4,000 words). Potential topics may include (but are not limited to)…

The Good Life: What can skateboarding teach us about life? What role might skateboarding play in achieving happiness?

Rebellion: What is the relationship between skateboarding and (say) punk rock? Is skateboarding inherently rebellious?

Philosophy of Sport: Is skateboarding a sport (and, what is a sport)? Does it matter? How does skateboarding different from other sports or athletic feats? Should skateboarding be in the Olympics?

Judgment: How should the winners in skateboarding competitions be judged?

Authenticity: should skateboarders care about “selling out”? What does it even mean to “sell out”?

Ethics: Should boarders be skating on public property? Do they have a moral obligation to obey “No Skateboarding” signs? Should children be encouraged (or allowed) to participate in dangerous sports such as skateboarding?

Risk Management: Is it irrational for skateboarders to take some of the risks that they do? Where is the line between bravery and stupidity?

Aesthetics: Is skateboarding an art? Is skateboarding a creative venture? In what sense (if any) are skateboarders artists or creatives? Can skateboarding be beautiful? How does the notion of “good” skateboarding evolve? How do standards and measures change (and must they)?

Stoicism: How would the stoics board? What can stoicism teach us about skateboarding?

Psychology: What compels skateboarders to perfect their craft through all the failure and injuries?

Urban Planning: Should cities be investing public funds in skate parks?

Gender and Sexuality: Have women been unfairly marginalized in skateboarding culture? How can skateboarding be used for empowerment?

Language and Meaning: What does the evolution of trick names teach us about language? What does “frontside/backside” mean? Why does it change in a nollie or fakie? Definite descriptions and reference. Does “backside 1620” refer to anything? Is it meaningful?

Social Philosophy: Is it possible to be a poser? Or, how to be an authentic skater.

Metaphysics: What kind of thing is a skateboard trick?

… and many more!

Contributor Guidelines:

Mail abstracts (and any questions) to:

  1. Abstracts should be between 100 – 500 words.
  2. Potential contributors must include a resume/CV for each author/coauthor.
  3. Initial submissions should be made by e-mail as either a Word doc. or a PDF.
  4. Deadlines:
  • Abstracts due by August 7, 2023
  • First drafts due by November 6, 2023
  • Final drafts due by January 8, 2024
  • (Early submissions are encouraged and welcomed!)