Chapter One: Tourism

Table of Contents

This study considers the tourist as a philosophical subject. Simultaneously, and rather counterintuitively, it also attempts to overcome the limitations of conventional philosophy by focusing on the difficulty of philosophizing the same tourist.

Tourism is a phenomenon of modernity. The father of modern tourism is Thomas Cook, with John Urry and Jonas Larsen locating its characteristics in its popular appeal. This mode of tourism is also linked to the question of cultural enlightenment. However, there has been little philosophical inquiry into what gave rise to tourism in the modern age or the meaning behind its continuation into the present. The critique of tourism by Daniel J. Boorstin from the1960s where he dismissed it as nothing more than a boring pseudo-event still has significant influence in academia today. I aim to initiate discussion on the topic and discuss the cultural meaning of tourism. In the process, I hope readers experience three secondary philosophical discoveries.

The first is a presentation of a framework useful for considering globalism in new terms. Researchers in the humanities tend to criticize globalism in generally vague terms, which, I argue, is lazy thinking. The second is a presentation of a framework from which to consider humans and society in terms of non-need (chance or contingency) rather than need (necessity). Tourism is an act of non-need. The origins of tourism are closely tied to the rise of early consumer and popular society within the middle class, the symbols of which were the Parisian passage of the 19th century and the 1851 Great Exhibition of London. I philosophize the importance of the chance gaze of consumers. The third is an attempt to establish a new intellectual discourse located just beyond the border between the serious and the frivolous, or the public and the private. I believe that deconstructing the boundary between these two concepts is necessary when considering the problem of not only tourism, but, for example, the increasing instances of terrorism in the contemporary world.