Athletic Beauty in Classical Greece: A Philosophical View

Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 39 (2):281-297 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Classical Greece is famous for its athletic art, particularly the image of the nude male athlete. But how did the Greeks understand athletic beauty? Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon, and others discuss athletes’ beauty, while the educational ideal of kalokagathia conceptually connects athletic beauty with the good. More questions need to be answered, however, if we are to understand ancient athletic beauty. We need to ask ourselves what the Greeks appreciated when they looked at athletic bodies. What did those qualities mean to them? In what way was it erotic? How did it differ for females and males? In this paper I argue that the beautiful athletic body is framed in ancient Greek thought, not just as an aesthetically pleasing image, but as an ideal expression of a certain kind of soul.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,923

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

In praise of athletic beauty.M. Andrew Holowchak - 2008 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 2 (1):84 – 86.
In praise of athletic beauty.Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht - 2006 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
In praise of athletic beauty by Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich.Joan Grassbaugh Forry - 2008 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (2):217–218.
Beauty.Roger Scruton - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Athletic virtue: Between east and west.Heather L. Reid - 2010 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 4 (1):16 – 26.
Beauty.Nick Zangwill - 2003 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Oxford Companion to Aesthetics. Oxford University Press.
Beauty and education.Joe Winston - 2010 - New York: Routledge.
Mathematical Beauty and Perceptual Presence.Rob van Gerwen - 2011 - Philosophical Investigations 34 (3):249-267.
Is beauty a pure perfection?Raphael Bexten - 2010 - Sammelpunkt. Elektronisch Archivierte Theorie.
A View of Early Greece.R. M. Cook - 1963 - The Classical Review 13 (01):95-.
Beauty.James Kirwan - 1999 - New York, NY, USA: Distributed exclusively in the USA by St. Martin's Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-10-31

Downloads
65 (#255,085)

6 months
6 (#585,724)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Heather Reid
Exedra Mediterranean Center, Siracusa, Sicily

Citations of this work

Why Olympia matters for modern sport.Heather L. Reid - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (2):159-173.
Athletic virtue and aesthetic values in Aristotle’s ethics.Heather Reid - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 47 (1):63-74.
The Role of Sport in a Good Life: Aristotle and Suits.Lukáš Mareš - 2021 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 16 (4):544-562.
Hero and Antihero: An Ethic and Aesthetic Reflection of the Sports.Carlos Rey Perez - 2019 - Physical Culture and Sport. Studies and Research 80 (1):48-56.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations