Well, there’s lots to tell, according to the book. I found it very enlightening in terms of the long history philosophy has with engaging the ocean as a metaphorical reservoir, but also as a very concrete area of discussion (law of nature, ethical discourse around environmental destruction). The book recounts this history, how and why the ocean has been relevant to subfields such as philosophy of law, aesthetics, philosophy of life, etc. What’s interesting to me: The aesthetic category of the sublime (Erhabenheit) and how it relates to the incomprehensibility of the ocean, its opaqueness and how all of this relates to society but also the “observing subject” (using old-school terms here, but really it’s about actors or mediators for me). The ambiguity of the ocean might be read as our own blindness before an incomprehensible actor or a network of those, rather than simply unanswering darkness (think: finally realizing the darkness you see is your own reflection from a big mirror; the ocean has been seen as the mirror of the soul for some philosophers). It’s all very useful for my own theoretical concept of thalassophobia (“an intense and persistent fear of the sea or of sea travel…”), which I use as a metaphor to express certain observations about doing field work in non-academic scholarly work on the internet[^1], namely, that the opaqueness of any scholarly venture risks uncovering the horror of incomprehensibility if the environment of the medium to be researched is different enough.
[^1]: I followed a group of non-academic social scientists and philosophers on social media for about five years, but had to abandon the project at some point.