The rapid growth of neuroscience and computational science has had profound influence on the philosophy of sports. This growth in publications has spurred research on sport experience, mind-body relationships, and skill acquisition. Aesthetics of sport is another branch of philosophy that has grown significantly in recent decades. Its central theme is the relevance of aesthetic qualities to the practice of sport. These two fields focus on the nature of the physical activity itself, as well as its social context.
The philosophy of sport has its roots in Rousseau’s theory of aesthetic pleasure. Philosophers such as Hans Ulrich Gumbretch and Spencer K. Wertz have supported this view, although some scholars deny that sport is an art form. Here are some of the major philosophers of sport:
Conventionalists argue that a good account of sport must appeal to collectively agreed-upon norms. They argue that these conventions constitute the ‘ethos’ of the game and determine how the rules are applied in concrete situations. For example, soccer players are required to put the ball out of play if they need medical attention. In the same way, conventionalists believe that the ethos of a sport is the shared understanding of the players and the spectators.
Aside from providing an excellent outlet for physical activity, sports also teach students valuable life skills. Participating in physical activity develops the five components of fitness. Physical activity helps build character, builds teamwork, and teaches analytical thinking. In addition, physical activity fosters a positive attitude and helps with goal-setting. If this is not enough, sports can help students become more independent, confident, and happier in themselves. These qualities are important for later success and happiness.
Many activities have been debated as being sports, including cheerleading and golf. Swimming, fishing, dancing, and even motorsports can be considered sports. However, some activities do not fit the definition of sport because they are not structured competitions. By contrast, golf, tennis, and pole-dancing are considered sports. The definition of sports should be broadly applied. Regardless of the definition, it is important to know that sports are both competitive and recreational.
Competitive events are rated according to their result and weight. While this is subjective, it is possible to correct the result with penalties or handicaps. Other activities use objective measures, such as time taken to complete a course. In gymnastics, judging occurs by a panel of judges, while in boxing, there are varying shades of fairness. Mixed martial arts, on the other hand, assign a victory if no one loses.
Human communities have engaged in sports for entertainment, religious worship, and political stability. For example, the ancient Sumerians, Greeks, and Romans practiced sports as a way to prepare for war and demonstrate excellence. This was a central aspect of Hellenistic culture, where sports were the ultimate unifying activity. It was also a means to educate people. These ancient cultures have also inspired many modern sports, such as motorized games. The ancient Greeks and Romans made sports a part of their religion.