The Genius in Art and in Sport: A Contribution to the Investigation of Aesthetics of Sport

Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 37 (2):182-193 (2010)
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This paper contains a consideration of the notion of genius and its significance to the discussion of the aesthetics of sport. We argue that genius can make a positive aes- thetic contribution in both art and sport, just as some have argued that the moral content of a work of art can affect its aesthetic value. A genius is an exceptional inno- vator of successful strategies, where such originality adds aesthetic value. We argue that an original painting can have greater aesthetic value than an exact replica, merely because it is the original. By parity of reasoning, a successful innovation in sport has additional aesthetic value just because it is a new creation. The genius is one who can provide this extra aesthetic pleasure and on that basis is rightly valued. The genius need not be conscious of how they achieve such innovations and thus find their own genius to be something they cannot explain but only demonstrate. In sport, innova- tions that offer new ways of playing or solving problems can produce competitive success which demands instant recognition and rewards



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Stephen Mumford
Durham University

References found in this work

Thus spoke Zarathustra.Friedrich Nietzsche - 1917 - New York,: Viking Press. Edited by Walter Arnold Kaufmann.
Philosophy of sport.Drew Hyland - 1990 - New York: Paragon House.
The aesthetic in sport.David Best - 1974 - British Journal of Aesthetics 14 (3):197-213.

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