Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Aggerholm, K.
On practising in sport: towards an ascetological understanding of sport
(2016) Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, pp. 1-15. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/00948705.2016.1159917

Within the philosophy of sport, the phenomenon of practising (askēsis) has received very little attention, whereas other related aspects of sport such as excellence (aretē) and competition (agon) have been subjected to many and thorough studies. This essay will attempt to clarify this particular phenomenon of practising through the notion of athletic ascetics, which will be analysed as a special variant of askēsis. Drawing especially on Foucault’s lectures on ascetics in ancient philosophy and Sloterdijk’s anthropology of the practising life, the essay outlines and interrogates the potential relevance of an ascetological understanding of sport. Through both descriptive and normative analysis, it is argued that athletic ascetics can refine our understanding of performance in sport and comprise an embodied account of the formative aspect of ethics, with implications for ethical considerations related to performance enhancement. © 2016 IAPS

Author Keywords
Askēsis; ethics; Practising; resilience; Stoicism; testing

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