PHILOSOPHY WALKS IN THE YORKSHIRE DALES
Mark Reid FRGS – Mountain Leader & author of ‘The Inn Way’ guidebooks
Graeme Tiffany – Community Philosopher & Outdoor Educator
“It is our habit to think outdoors” Friedrich Nietzsche
Enjoy walking? Get a buzz from thinking? Challenge your mind as well as your body.
Historic landscapes, stunning views, invigorating fresh air and the joy of being in nature. There are few of us unmoved by the ‘Great Outdoors’, but what of the thoughts and questions these experiences generate; how might we embrace and learn from them?
A Philosophy Walk takes that most fundamental movement – walking – and pairs it with the opportunity to reflect with others in enjoyable, rewarding and professionally supported thinking, for pleasure or purpose. Time is invested in thinking about questions stimulated by the landscape.
We’d love you to join us on a Philosophy Walk. You can come on your own or with family and friends. Philosophy Walks are also ideal for team development.
Put simply, if you are inquisitive about the world, if you love wisdom, you’re a philosopher. The emphasis here is on philosophising rather than engagement with the work of famous philosophers. More pertinently, you’ll be interested in questions of meaning and value, and most often those for which there isn’t a definitive answer. And you’ll be committed to the process of learning as much as trying to find an answer: thinking, questioning and reasoning will matter to you.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE DAY:
In the morning, we meet over tea/coffee to discuss the day, with a brief introduction to the history of the relationship between walking and philosophy. We’ll then head out on our walk across beautiful and varied landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales. Unlike many guided walks we’ll return to the local pub relatively early and take time to consider our conversations during the day.
As our bodies relax, it’s time to stretch our mental muscles. We’ll draw on the extraordinary potential of the outdoors to stimulate deeper thinking. Using Community of Enquiry methodology, we’ll work together to explore a question that has arisen that’s of importance to us all.
Using the stimulus of the outdoors, and the unrivalled knowledge of the history and geography of the landscape your guides possess, you’ll be encouraged to wander and wonder, and to explore both the environment and the ideas and thoughts sparked by your – and your fellow walkers’ – experience.
You’ll return home having exercised body and mind ….
OUTLINE OF THE DAY
Meet at the village car park – overview of the day and introduction to Philosophy Walks, including a short talk about the relationship between philosophy and walking.
10am – 3pm
Fully guided walk in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales interspersed with ‘philosophical interludes’. Packed lunch en route.
3pm – 5pm
Return to the village to gather our thoughts and examine the day further in a ‘Community of Philosophical Enquiry’.
Consider this scene, which we came across during a recent Philosophy Walk. Rather than passing by, we shared our reactions to what we had seen. Our discussion grew into an exploration of the role myths played in shaping our lives and the extent to which they inform the decisions we make. In thinking together we were able to examine, safely, and in a caring way, often deeply held beliefs and the rationale behind them.