Download Contemporary Athletics and Ancient Greek Ideals by Daniel A. Dombrowski PDF

By Daniel A. Dombrowski

Regardless of their impression in our tradition, activities encourage dramatically much less philosophical attention than such ostensibly weightier subject matters as faith, politics, or technology. Arguing that athletic playfulness coexists with severe underpinnings, and that either call for extra substantive consciousness, Daniel Dombrowski harnesses the insights of historical Greek thinkers to light up modern athletics.
Dombrowski contends that the guidelines of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus shed very important mild on issues—such because the pursuit of excellence, the idea that of play, and the ability of accepting actual barriers whereas additionally bettering one’s body—that stay simply as proper in our sports-obsessed age as they have been in historic Greece. Bringing those suggestions to endure on modern matters, Dombrowski considers such questions as even if athletic festival could be a ethical replacement for warfare, no matter if it inevitably constitutes battle by way of different skill, and even if it encourages fascist developments or moral advantage. the 1st quantity to philosophically discover twenty-first-century recreation within the context of its historical predecessor, modern Athletics and historical Greek beliefs finds that their courting has nice and formerly untapped strength to notify our knowing of human nature.

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Children and puppies play, but not us, he thinks.

If anything, Spivey does an excellent job of convincing us that the topic of athletics is anything but trivial! In order to avoid the charge of hyperbole, Spivey invokes the thesis of Jacob Burckhardt that the prevailing spirit of the ancient Greeks was that of agon or contest. This agonic mentality lies behind not only athletic contests, but also dialectical criticism found in Plato’s dialogues, theater competitions, lawsuits, the battle against nature in science, and so on. In a Burckhardt-like manner, Spivey notices that philoneikia (the love of competing) is barely distinguishable from philonikia (the love of victory).

Of course, 50 · chapter two as Weiss uses the term, childlike “play” does not require judgment if it stands for aimless frolicking without rules. In athletic events that are rule dominated, however, some intellectual element is required. This Greek need for balance or moderation has implications for an external goal that is often associated with, rather than integral to, athletics: health. Athletes tend to fall short of mental health, or eudaemonia in Aristotle’s sense of the term, but they nonetheless typically acquire a type of health that is more than an absence of disease.

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