Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 9 (2):140-152 (2015)
AbstractThere are robust consequences of the fact that football is football and not something else. The aesthetic personality of football does not submit to a template inappropriately borrowed from elsewhere. One consequence is that beauty should not be awarded privileged status. Any just aesthetics of the game must be properly hospitable to the game’s less hygienic and agonistic features, such as stolid defence, scuffling and scavenging, heroic goalkeeping, visible toil and strain, the intrinsic possibility of failure, the visibly strenuous working with materials, one’s exposed vulnerability to conditions, luck, loss of form and the injured or ageing body, and the visible realisation of a plurality of life values in a self-enclosed domain. This gives football a deep affinity with a Modernist aesthetics. However, ‘traditional’ aesthetics might also have a substantive and precious input into the aesthetics of football. Indeed, it might be that beauty is a legitimate aesthetic category and..
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