Aretism: An Ancient Sports Philosophy for the Modern Sports World

Aretism: An Ancient Sports Philosophy for the Modern Sports World

by Heather Reid, Mark Holowchak


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, November 15


Aretism: An Ancient Sports Philosophy for the Modern Sports World applies a robust ancient ethic to the widely-acknowledged problems faced by modern sports. Aretism—from the Greek word arete ("excellence")—draws a balance between the hard commercialism of modern sports culture and the soft playfulness of recreational models to recover the value of sport for individuals, education, and society at large. The authors’ approach proposes practical strategies for athletes, coaches, and physical educators to use when facing ethical challenges in the modern world. Holowchak and Reid present Aretism as a tripartite model of athletic excellence focused on personal, civic, and global integration. They reject the personal and social separation characteristics of much of contemporary moral reasoning. Aretism creates a critical and normative framework within which athletic agents can aim for spirited, but morally sensitive, competition by seeking the betterment not only of themselves, through athletic competition, but also of their teammates, fellow competitors, and even their communities. Holowchak and Reid also present a historical overview of sport and a critique of two traditional models—the martial/commercial model and the aesthetic/recreational model. This book is most applicable to students and academics concerned with the philosophy of sport, but will be of interest to all those in sports professions, including coaches, trainers, and athletes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739182086
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 02/22/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

M. Andrew Holowchak teaches philosophy at Rider University. His books include Happiness and Greek Ethics, Critical Reasoning & Philosophy, Ancient Science and Dreams: Oneirology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Philosophy of Sport: Crucial Readings, Critical Issues, and The Stoics: A Guide for the Perplexed. Heather L. Reid is professor and chair of philosophy at Morningside College and author of Philosophy and Athletics in Ancient Greece and Rome: Contests of Virtue and The Philosophical Athlete.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Part 2 PART I. How Did Sports Get Here From There? Chapter 3 Chapter 1. The Roots of Competitive Sport Chapter 4 Chapter 2. Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment Sport Chapter 5 Chapter 3. Compensatory Athleticism Chapter 6 Chapter 4. Sport Propagandized Chapter 7 Chapter 5. Sport Commodified Part 8 PART II. What is Wrong With Sports Today? Chapter 9 Chapter 6. The Martial/Commercial Model Chapter 10 Chapter 7. Drugs and Competitive Sport Chapter 11 Chapter 8. Problems of Performance Enhancement Chapter 12 Chapter 9. Gender, Aggression, and Violence Chapter 13 Chapter 10. Sport by the Numbers Chapter 14 Chapter 11. Sensationalism and Ego-Puffing Part 15 PART III. Why Can't We Just Enjoy Sports? Chapter 16 Chapter 12. The Aesthetic/Recreational Model Chapter 17 Chapter 13. Aesthetic Spectacle Chapter 18 Chapter 14. Playful Integrity Chapter 19 Chapter 15. The Aesthetics of Journeying Chapter 20 Chapter 16. Beauty as Unity Chapter 21 Chapter 17. Economy of Performance Part 22 PART IV. How Should Sports Be Reformed? Chapter 23 Chapter 18. The Aretic Model Chapter 24 Chapter 19. Aretism and Values Chapter 25 Chapter 20. Aretism and Education Chapter 26 Chapter 21. Aretism and Society Chapter 27 Chapter 22. Is Sport a Good?

What People are Saying About This

Jim Parry

Just what we have come to expect from these two authors: a broad sweep at the historical level, a comprehensive account at the theoretical level, married with punchy and insightful analyses of particular issues and events. The sheer scope of the enterprise, together with the telling detail, is astonishing. I read this like an 'I couldn't put it down' novel. An impressive achievement.

Michael McNamee

Aretism is a subtle and engaging attempt to show historical connections between the prized character traits of classical antiquity and modern commercialized sports. Written in uncluttered prose and full of great examples, it is an accessible and thought-provoking re-statement of sporting virtues.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews