Putting Nietzsche and sport together could seem like an odd pairing. Nietzsche suffered from bad health and while he did a lot of walking in the mountains when staying in Sils Maria in Switzerland, he was by no means an athlete philosopher. While he had a lot to say about arts and theater, in his work there are few direct references to sport as we know it today.
Our guest Yunus Tuncel argues that there are numerous dimensions that we find in Nietzsche’s work that can help us understand meaningful engagement in sport. From Nietzsche’s early writings on the Apollonian and Dionysian, to his philosophy of play and to the well-known contemplation on the overhuman, there are several inspirational elements that can help us about the role of sport in finding meaning in the world where God is Dead.
The first part of our explorations focuses on the Dionysian and the Apollonian forces and thinking about sport through them.
Would Nietzsche think that contemporary sporting culture is going too much towards the Apollonian with our obsession to quantify and control everything?
How about elite sport, would Nietzsche see it in a positive light?
Nietzsche celebrated play as a spontaneous, creative and in a good sense purposeless and useless activity. Has sport gone too far off from play? Or is structure necessary to facilitate play?
Dr Yunus Tuncel teaches Philosophy at The New School, New York, and in New York University’s Liberal Studies Program. He is a member of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport (IAPS) and is co-founder of the Nietzsche Circle and a member of the Editorial Board of its journal The Agonist (see http://www.nietzschecircle.com/agonist.html).
In addition to his academic work, Yunus is the founder of Philomobile, which is a travel organisation offering trips to those interested in studying philosophy on the road (http://www.philomobile.com/).