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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 47, 2008

Philosophy of Sport

Masami Sekine, Takayuki Hata
Pages 35-43

Modern Sport as an Opportunity to Form a Sense of Self

Athletes in sport are not only physical beings but also spiritual beings. Sport is referred to sport as an issue of human self. What kind of inner self do athletes have in the context of modern sports? To consider the issue of self in sport, we focused on its two aspects, athletics and training. In conclusion, we proposed to combine individual training like Japanese shugyo influenced mainly by Zen philosophy with athletics developed in the West since the time of the Greeks. When these are separated, the self of an athlete is still incomplete, and it is hard to attain genuine excellence or achievement. An athlete in such a separate state of mind possibly ends up using irrational force or power when relying on individual training. On the other hand, an athlete who focuses only on competitions will have a strong inclination to be affected by the media and commercialism, while having chances to be approved by others. It is hence essential to combine the two approaches. If we redefine playing sports as the phenomenon that comprehends both our self-reflection and our encounters with others, it will serve as an occasion of great significance for people living in today’s world.

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