Finding Our Sea-Legs

Finding Our Sea-Legs

Publication information

  • Title: Finding Our Sea-Legs
  • Published by: Wind&Bones (2019) / Kingston University Press (2009).
  • Category: Academic
  • Buy the book!

For millennia, philosophers have spun tales about goodness and badness, yet in matters of ethics, agreement is curiously hard to find. Finding Our Sea-Legs takes a new approach to these old debates.

This book casts the reader adrift on a sea of stories where multiple traditions converge: from ancient India to the fishmarkets of New York, and from East Indonesia to the philosophical traditions of China. Attentive to the changes in the winds and the tides, it draws on the resources of both philosophy and storytelling to explore our complex experiences of time, of others, and of storytelling itself.

In doing so, Finding Our Sea-Legs throws new light on the traditions of philosophy—from Aristotle to Emmanuel Levinas—and explores ethics not as a means of finding our way back to safe harbour, but instead as a way of acclimatising ourselves to life on the seas of uncertainty.

What Are People Saying?

The book is unconventional in form: written in colloquial English with little jargon. It tells many stories: about talking fish, million-year-old princesses, and the need to lower your mast as you near the horizon, lest your boat get stuck between the sky and the sea. Finding our Sea-Legs is also unconventional in content. It is one of very few books about a key problem in contemporary philosophy: the tension between the urgency of ethics and their inherent ambiguity.

— David Chapman

A rich, lucid feast of a book.


An examination of philosophy and stories that will leave you waving, not drowning…

— Left Lion magazine