Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (3):256 - 269 (2011)
AbstractThe last decades have seen a rising philosophical interest in the phenomenology of skill acquisition. One central topic in this work is the relation between the athlete's background capacities and foreground attention as an invariant feature of skilful movements. The purpose of this paper is to examine further this gestalt relation from the perspective of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological account of embodied learning and a classical notion from philosophy of sport, namely ?sweet tension of uncertainty of outcome?. In the first part we will explicate how Merleau-Ponty understands embodied learning as a form of gestalt switch that allows the athlete to perceive the world more meaningfully in relation to an ongoing movement project. That is, a skilled athlete perceives more and better opportunities for actions. In the second part, we revisit the classical notion of ?sweet tension of uncertainty of outcome? developed by Kretchmar. This phrase is attributed to the indeterminate back and forth rallies between sport contestants, and to persons facing a sport situation that produces an ambiguity as to whether one will succeed in one's task. In the third part, we then juxtapose Merleau-Ponty's notion of embodied learning and the notion of sweet tension from philosophy of sport in order to draw out the relations between the two notions. In addition, in much of the philosophical work on skill acquisition (for instance in Merleau-Ponty and his much-cited commentator, Hubert Dreyfus) the distinction between everyday skills (such as walking and opening doors) and sport skills is collapsed. Our discussion aims to show that by introducing the notion of ?sweet tension? to the literature on phenomenology of skill acquisition, we are able to highlight a phenomenological difference between everyday skills and sport skills
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References found in this work
Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work
Nothing New Under the Sun: Holism and the Pursuit of Excellence.Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza - 2014 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 8 (3):230-257.
Phenomenology is Not Phenomenalism. Is There Such a Thing as Phenomenology of Sport?Jan Halák, Ivo Jirásek & Mark Stephen Nesti - 2014 - Acta Gymnica 44 (2):117-129.
On Phenomenological and Logical Characteristics of Skilled Behaviour in Sport: Cognitive and Motor Intentionality.Vegard Fusche Moe - 2016 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 10 (3):251-268.
The Hermeneutics of Sport: Limits and Conditions of Possibility of Our Understandings of Sport.Francisco Javier Lopez Frias & Xavier Gimeno Monfort - 2016 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 10 (4):375-391.
6—Waking Up From The Cognitivist Dream—The Computational View of the Mind and High Performance.Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza - 2014 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 8 (4):344-373.
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