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Sport and art: An essay in the hermeneutics of sport

Edgar, Andrew Robert ORCID: 2013. Sport and art: An essay in the hermeneutics of sport. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 7 (1) , pp. 1-9. 10.1080/17511321.2013.761879

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In this essay I explore the relationship of sport to art. I do not intend to argue that sport is one of the arts. I will rather argue that sport and art have a commonality, in that both are alienated philosophy. This is to propose – in an argument that has its roots in Hegel's aesthetics – that sport and art may both be interpreted as a way of reflecting upon metaphysical and normative issues, albeit in media that are alien to philosophy's conceptual language. The medium of art is the manipulation of sensuous materials, such as stone, paint, or sound. The medium of sport is the pursuit of a physical challenge, at which the athlete may fail. I will develop this argument by borrowing from the philosophy of art of Arthur C. Danto. In particular, I will suggest that a parallel to his concept of ‘artworld’ can be seen in a ‘sportworld’. As the artworld is an ‘atmosphere of theory’ and a ‘knowledge of history’ through which an event is interpreted and thereby constituted as art, so a sportworld is the atmosphere of theory through which an event is constituted as sport. I will argue that much of the existing discussion of the relationship between sport and art is grounded in an ill-conceived aesthetics. In order to be appreciated and appropriately interpreted, sport must be understood within a modernist aesthetics and hermeneutics. As such, the core issue of an aesthetics of sport is not that of beauty, but rather of the meaning of the sport, and what I shall call the capacity of sport to ‘speak as a world’ – to bring to consciousness through play the taken-for-granted cultural conditions through which our social lives are constituted, and within which metaphysical and normative problems are articulated. I will propose that the hermeneutics of music provides a useful model for the interpretation of sport.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Additional Information: Special Issue: Sport and Art: An Essay in the Hermeneutics of Sport. Issue edited by Edgar.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1751-1321
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:41

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