All athletes experience victory and defeat, but how many truly learn from the experience of sport? For ancient Greek thinkers like Plato, sport was an integral part of education. Today, athletics programs remain in our schools, but we face a growing gap between the modern sports experience and enduring educational values. The Philosophical Athlete seeks to bridge that gap by advocating a philosophical approach to the sports experience. Combining issues and ideas from traditional philosophy with contemporary analyses of sport and applied thinking activities, this book invites athletes to learn about life from their experience in sport. The text works its way from internal reflection to social interaction by addressing four important topics:
This sequence is important because authentic self-knowledge is an essential foundation for effectively dealing with the personal and social challenges faced by all athletes. Specific issues such as violence, racism, and performance-enhancing drugs are discussed in their relevant contexts. The aim of the book is to help athletes focus on the big picture, approaching each issue from a complete vision of themselves, their moral commitments, and their social roles. Athletes as diverse as the teenage college recruit and the aging weekend warrior will gain insight into their sports experience and their lives as a whole. The philosophical approach maximizes what we can learn from sport and gives us the best chance for leading better lives because of it.