Suffering and Schadenfreude in sport

Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 50 (1):133-147 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


We argue that some sports test athletes’ capacities to endure specific types of suffering, and in such cases the suffering is constitutive of the sport: the sporting contest would not be a good sporting contest if that capacity were not tested. We then argue that it is morally acceptable for athletes to experience pleasure (Schadenfreude) in response to the constitutive suffering of competitors insofar as that pleasure is compatible with pity or sympathy for non-constitutive suffering. We use the case of morally acceptable pleasure in the constitutive suffering of a competitor to clarify the sense of Schadenfreude. We defend a little recognised distinction of Aristotelian provenance between benign and malignant Schadenfreude, and, in contrast to the prevailing scholarly assessment, we show that Schadenfreude is not necessarily a passive emotion.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,702

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Schadenfreude in Sport: Envy, Justice, and Self-esteem.Mike McNamee - 2003 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 30 (1):1-16.
Levinas on suffering and solidarity.Y. A. Kang - 1997 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 59 (3):482 - 504.
Levinas on suffering and solidarity. Y. Kang - 1997 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 59 (3):482-504.
Situational Determinants of Envy and Schadenfreude.Zbigniew Piskorz & Joanna Piskorz - 2009 - Polish Psychological Bulletin 40 (3):137-144.
On the Problem of "Schadenfreude".John Edward Portmann - 1995 - Dissertation, University of Virginia
Learning from Adversity: Suffering and Wisdom.Michael S. Brady - 2019 - In Laura Candiotto (ed.), The Value of Emotions for Knowledge. Springer Verlag. pp. 197-214.
Divine Punishment and Reconciliation.J. Brenton Stearns - 1981 - Journal of Religious Ethics 9 (1):118-130.
On the Suffering of Compassion.Peter Nilsson - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):125-144.


Added to PP

13 (#786,274)

6 months
13 (#91,256)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Michael Rohlf
Catholic University of America
Sean Foley
Catholic University of America

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Principles of Art.R. G. Collingwood - 1938 - Philosophy 13 (52):492-496.
What Counts As Part of a Game? A Look at Skills.Cesar R. Torres - 2000 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 27 (1):81-92.
Gamesmanship.Leslie A. Howe - 2004 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 31 (2):212-225.

View all 8 references / Add more references