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The Olympics and Philosophy

edited by Heather L. Reid and Michael W. Austin

Availablecloth$45.00s 978-0-8131-3648-6
The Philosophy of Popular Culture
308 pages  Pubdate: 07/27/2012  6 x 9  

It is said the champions of the ancient Olympic Games received a crown of olive leaves, symbolizing a divine blessing from Nike, the winged goddess of victory. While the mythology of the ancient games has come to exemplify the highest political, religious, community, and individual ideals of the time, the modern Olympic Games, by comparison, are widely known as an international, bi-annual sporting event where champions have the potential to earn not only glory for their country, but lucrative endorsement deals and the perks of worldwide fame. The Olympics and Philosophy examines the Olympic Movement from a variety of theoretical perspectives to uncover the connection between athleticism and philosophy for a deeper appreciation of the Olympic Pillars of Sport, Environment, and Culture.

While today’s Olympic champions are neither blessed by the gods nor rewarded with wreaths of olive, the original spirit and ancient ideals of the Olympic Movement endure in its modern embodiment. Editors Heather L. Reid and Michael W. Austin have assembled a team of international scholars to explore topics such as the concept of excellence, ethics, doping, gender, and race. Interweaving ancient and modern Olympic traditions, The Olympics and Philosophy considers the philosophical implications of the Games’ intersection with historical events and modern controversy in a unique analysis of tradition and the future of the Olympiad.

Heather L. Reid is professor and chair of the department of philosophy at Morningside College. She serves on the editorial board of review for the Journal of Philosophy of Sport, and the executive board of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport and is the author of Philosophical Athlete: Athletics and Philosophy in the Ancient World and co-author of Aretism: An Ancient Sports Philosophy for the Modern Sports World

Michael W. Austin is associate professor of philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University and serves on the executive board of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport. He is the editor of several publications, including Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind and Football and Philosophy: Going Deep.

“Austin and Reid have done the sports community a great favor in bringing together such a fine collection of philosophical essays on the Olympics. Given the sheer scope of the Olympic Games in modern times, this book will be a critical companion to those who want to understand better the nuances and contradictions of the world’s greatest sporting event.”—Mike McNamee, editor of The Ethics of Sports: A Reader