On the moral value of physical activity: Body and soul in Plato's account of virtue

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 4 (1):3 – 15 (2010)
It is arguable that some of the most profound and perennial issues and problems of philosophy concerning the nature of human agency, the role of reason and knowledge in such agency and the moral status and place of responsibility in human action and conduct receive their sharpest definition in Plato's specific discussion in the Republic of the human value of physical activities. From this viewpoint alone, Plato's exploration of this issue might be considered a locus classicus in the philosophy of sport. Indeed, it is in this place that Plato offers a highly distinctive account of the value of physical education in terms of its vital contribution to the development of a part of the soul that he characterises in terms of ?spirit?, ?energy? and/or ?initiative?. Drawing on more recent work in ethics and philosophy of action, this paper sets out to revisit and evaluate Plato's argument. While concluding that Plato's case ultimately flounders on fundamental uncertainty regarding the logical role of spirit in the explanation of agency, the paper concludes that there is much to be learned ? in the philosophy of sport and elsewhere ? from the instructive failures of Plato's argument
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/17511320903264222
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Plato & C. D. C. Reeve (2004). Republic. Princeton: Hackett Publishing.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

72 ( #67,615 of 1,924,873 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #107,577 of 1,924,873 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.