Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3):275-288 (2017)
AbstractThe outcomes of sports and competitive games excite intense emotions in many people, even when those same people acknowledge that those outcomes are of trifling importance. I call this incongruity between the judged importance of the outcome and the intense reactions it provokes the Puzzle of Sport. The puzzle can be usefully compared to another puzzle in aesthetics: the Paradox of Fiction, which asks how it is we become emotionally caught up with events and characters we know to be unreal. In this article, I examine the prospects of understanding our engagement with competitive games on the model of our engagement with works of fiction, thus enabling analogous explanations for both puzzles. I show that there are significant problems with such an approach and offer an alternative, mobilizing ideas from David Velleman and Thomas Nagel, that appeals to the volatility of our motivational attitudes.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts.Kendall L. Walton - 1990 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49 (2):161-166.
How Can We Be Moved by the Fate of Anna Karenina.Colin Radford & Michael Weston - 1975 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 49 (1):67 - 93.
Citations of this work
Emotion in Fiction: State of the Art.Stacie Friend - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (2):257-271.
Don’T Stop Make-Believing.Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (2):261-275.
It’s Much More Important Than That: Against Fictionalist Accounts of Fandom.Alfred Archer & Jake Wojtowicz - 2022 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 49 (1):83-98.
Do You Really Hate Tom Brady? Pretense and Emotion in Sport.Joseph G. Moore - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (2):244-260.
Similar books and articles
Toward Sport Reform: Hegemonic Masculinity and Reconceptualizing Competition.Colleen English - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (2):183-198.
Homer, Competition, and Sport.Daniel A. Dombrowski - 2012 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 39 (1):33-51.
"It's Only a Game!" Sports As Fiction.Kendall L. Walton - 2015 - In In Other Shoes: Music, Metaphor, Empathy, Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 75-83.
Sport as Meaningful Narratives.John Gleaves - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (1):29-43.
Paralympics Should Be Integrated Into Main Olympic Games.Carlo Bellieni - 2015 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 9 (1):75-82.
Broadband and Circuits: The Place of Public Gaming in the History of Sport.Kalle Jonasson - 2016 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 10 (1):28-41.
Games of Sport, Works of Art, and the Striking Beauty of Asian Martial Arts.Barry Allen - 2013 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 40 (2):241 - 254.
Emotions and Aesthetics: An Inevitable Trade‐Off.Stephen Mumford - 2012 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 39 (2):267-279.
Call ‘Em as They Are: What’s Wrong with Blown Calls and What to Do About Them.S. Seth Bordner - 2015 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 42 (1):101-120.
Competition as Cooperation.C. Thi Nguyen - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (1):123-137.
The Reality of Fantasy Sports: A Metaphysical and Ethical Analysis.Chad Carlson - 2013 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 40 (2):187 - 204.
Games and Fiction: Partners in the Evolution of Culture.Scott Kretchmar - 2017 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 11 (1):12-25.