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Record Type: Review   ID: 239

Philosophic Inquiry in Sport (2nd ed.)

Morgan, William J., & Meier, Klaus V. (Eds.).

This magnificent compendium has become more important than ever because of the emphasis in physical education on the enhancement of performance to the neglect of other pressing aspects, such as ethics. Thus, this edition contains 22 new essays dealing with philosophical questions of morals and sports. This has resulted in arranging the book in two major sections: Ontological Frameworks (theories about reality) and Axiological Frameworks (theories about value). The emphasis on morality does not mean earlier sections are unchanged. Although classic selections remain, such as Huizinga on play and Callois on games, there are new ones such as "Sport and Play: Suspension of the Ordinary" by Kenneth L. Schmitz in Part I: The Nature of Sport, Play, and Game. In Part II, Embodiment and Sport, there is a new chapter, "Women as Body: Ancient and Contemporary Views" by Elizabeth V. Spelman. In searching for a more accurate conception of the female body than males have portrayed, she provides insight into the nature of the human body. Unfortunately, the section on Play, Sport, and Metaphysics has two fewer chapters than before, as does the one on Sport, Aesthetics, and Art. Part Two, in addition to the carry-overs sections, has two new ones; Gender Issues and Sport and The Morality of Hunting and Animal Liberation, mostly aimed at removing "sport" from Sports, which is certainly in line with the philosophy of most EHEers, whose increasing sense of connection with other species makes killing for "sport" abhorrent.

We reviewed the first edition of this book in the earlier incarnation of this Journal, Parapsychology Abstracts International, where we pointed out some obstruse reasons for including it]. Its relevance to exceptional human experience is much more obvious. It is pointed up in one essay that appeared in both editions, by joint editor, Klaus V. Meier, whose other works are also relevant. In "Embodiment, Sport, and Meaning," he writes how in the concept of the "lived body" athletes can transcend the dichotomy of body and mind. The experience of the lived body also becomes salient in the lives of EHEers. Meier also emphasizes "moments of intense realness available in sport [that] provide opportunities for the unfolding of new insights and the restructuring of previous perceptions" (p. 99). Such moments, in our terminology, are exceptional human experiences, and the frequency with which they are associated with sport is the reason this book merits reviewing in this Journal. Each of the 6 sections opens with a "Reader’s Guide" that sets the stage for that section and a summary at the end that points out the relevance of each piece in the section to its overall topic. No doubt because this edition is significantly enlarged, the useful bibliography at the end of each section has been dropped.

Publisher Information:Champaign, IL Human Kinetics, 1995. Chap bibl; Chap notes
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