Authored by: Paul Gaffney

Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Sport

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415829809
eBook ISBN: 9780203466261
Adobe ISBN: 9781134119141


 Download Chapter



‘Competition’ and ‘sport’ are not coextensive terms. On the one hand, competition can be understood as the wider category, which suggests that competitive sport represents merely one instantiation of a basic type of human engagement. Indeed, it is not difficult to conceptualize many of our encounters with one another and many of our institutions as structurally competitive. In adversarial law, for example, two advocates are pitted against one another and successful litigation is measured directly by victories as much as by the achievement of justice or the determination of truth. In democratic politics, candidates must win elections to gain office, and then must ‘win over’ constituencies to implement public policy. In economics, competition is a defining feature of market capitalism, even if this ideal is only approximately realized in practice. Producers compete with one another for market shares, and there is even something of a contest between producers and consumers over the terms of their transactions. Finally, in cultural and intellectual arenas, we refer to a marketplace of ideas, which suggests – developing the economic metaphor – that contenders must survive a battleground of opposition and critique to be considered successful.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.