A Well Balanced Life Based on 'The Joy of Effort': Olympic Hype or a Meaningful Ideal?

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 6 (2):155-165 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

A key goal in the Olympic value system of Olympism is the all-round cultivation of the individual. According to its so-called ?fundamental principles?, Olympism is a ?philosophy of life? with ideals of ?exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will, and mind? and creating ?a way of life based on the joy of effort?. These goals are to be reached by blending sport with culture and education. Olympism is often criticised for idealism and lack of impact in real life. At the same time Olympic ideals are intuitively appealing and have rhetorical force. The Olympic athlete stands at the very centre of the ideology. This paper examines the possibility of critical examination of Olympic ideals in terms of three different understandings of the athlete. A dualist understanding sees the athlete as divided between body and mind and with the body as a means towards the cultivation of the mind. Within this understanding Olympic ideals make little sense. A phenomenological approach attempts to overcome a dualist scheme with an understanding of the athlete as ?embodied intentionality?. This seems fertile in an examination of Olympic ideals but can be criticised for lack of contextual sensitivity. A third perspective points towards the athlete as a social construction who can be fully understood only by examining the more extensive socio-cultural context of which the athlete is a part. The contextual understanding adds critical force to Olympic analyses but seems to lack conceptual tools to examine the vision of athletes as responsible moral agents. In conclusion the complementary functions of the three perspectives are emphasised for a proper study of Olympic ideals

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,127

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

Athlete Agency and the Spirit of Olympic Sport.Heather Reid - 2020 - Journal of Olympic Studies 1 (1):22-36.
An anthropology of the Olympic athlete.Hans Lenk, Takayuki Hata & Masami Sekine - 2006 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education 28 (2):119-134.
Expatriate Coaching, Olympism and the Olympic Games.Cesar R. Torres - 2012 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 6 (2):289-304.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-05-11

Downloads
8 (#1,345,183)

6 months
32 (#106,387)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Meditations on First Philosophy.René Descartes - 1984 [1641] - Ann Arbor: Caravan Books. Edited by Stanley Tweyman.
Explanation and understanding.Georg Henrik von Wright - 1971 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Meditations on first philosophy: with selections from the Objections and Replies.René Descartes - 1961 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by John Cottingham & Bernard Williams.
Explanation and Understanding.Georg Henrik von Wright - 1971 - London, England: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

View all 19 references / Add more references