Eastern Philosophy

Authored by: Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza , Takayuki Hata

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


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This chapter explores dominant millennial Eastern philosophical traditions and their connection to sport, understood to include games, physical activity, martial arts, and dance. 1 As diverging yet complementary perspectives, they help to interpret and understand sport. To adequately cover these traditions discussion assumes unfamiliarity and centers on main tenets, methodologies, practical applications, and relevance to twenty-first-century sporting concerns. The first section examines Indian philosophy, introducing basic concepts that thread their way from early Hindu traditions through Buddhism and on to other Asian philosophies. Section two considers China’s native Confucianism and Daoism and, briefly, Mahayanistic Chan () Buddhism. Section three looks at Japanese philosophy in Zen () Buddhism and martial arts. The fourth section discusses contemporary Eastern sport philosophy scholarship and future developments. Each historically organized tradition engages two themes that topically ground matters from a sporting perspective: the human body and its cultural role, and the relation between results and process. On account of its foundational role, theoretical explanation predominates in Hinduism, setting the stage for later developments where sport takes center stage.

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