Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 2 (3):285 – 301 (2008)
|Abstract||Many philosophers of sport maintain that athletics can contribute to our understanding of ourselves and the environments in which we live. It may be relatively easy to offer accounts of how athletes might acquire self-knowledge through sport; however, it is far more difficult to see how sport could add to the general understanding of human individuals, cultural frameworks or the material world. The study of sport as a way of worldmaking is helpful in understanding how sport can contribute to the pursuit of knowledge in such areas. The position I present is based on arguments made by Gunter Gebauer in his 1993 presidential address to the Philosophic Society for the Study of Sport, 'Sport, theater, and ritual: Three ways of worldmaking', and in my explanation and interpretation of Gebauer's position, I rely heavily on Nelson Goodman's Ways of worldmaking . Gebauer's work is focused on traditional sports, and he argues that such sports create worlds that represent fundamental attitudes and values of the cultures that produce them. I argue that alternative sports are well suited to create new and original worlds that instantiate value systems in opposition to mainstream culture. I argue further that nature sports such as climbing and surfing represent relationships between humans and natural features, and that such sports, as a subcategory of alternative sports, are in a position to create new and original frameworks that can help us to better comprehend our relationships with natural environments|
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