Moderate Partisanship as Oscillation

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 6 (3):369-375 (2012)
In Watching Sport, Stephen Mumford distinguishes two ways in which sport can be seen. A purist sees it aesthetically while a partisan sees it competitively. But this overlooks the obvious point that most sports fans are neither entirely purist nor entirely partisan. The norm will be some moderate position in between with the purist and partisan as ideal limits. What is then the point of considering these pure aesthetic and pure competitive ways of seeing? In this discussion note, I consider possible accounts of the way in which the moderate spectator watches. After rejecting what I call a pure perception theory and a mixed view, I defend an oscillation theory. This means that the moderate sports fan is one who switches, sometimes rapidly, between the aesthetic and competitive perceptions of sport. A pay-off of this account is that we do not need a further, third way of perceiving sport in order to account for the moderate. It has been explained in terms of our original two forms of perception. This fills a lacuna in Mumford's account
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    Nicholas Dixon (2001). The Ethics of Supporting Sports Teams. Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (2):149–158.
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