Sweet Tension and its Phenomenological Description: Sport, Intersubjectivity and Horizon

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (3):270 - 284 (2011)


In this paper, we argue that a rich phenomenological description of ?sweet tension? is an important step to understanding how and why sport is a meaningful human endeavour. We introduce the phenomenological concepts of intersubjectivity and horizon and elaborate how they inform the study and understanding of human experience. In the process, we establish that intersubjectivity is always embodied, developing and ethically committed. Likewise, we establish that our horizons are experienced from an embodied, developing and ethically committed perspective that serves as the possibility for new intersubjective engagement. What follows is a discussion of the explanatory role of intersubjectivity and horizon in elucidating experiences of sweet tension in and through sport. The phenomenological account of sweet tension provides insights into the significance of our sporting experiences. Indeed, taking phenomenology seriously represents a commitment to descriptively elucidate what makes such experiences of sport significant and why we long for them. Recognising that sweet tension is a form of intersubjective horizon opens up new avenues for addressing ethical issues in sport as well as in crafting well-balanced games

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