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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Play is a fundamental characteristic of the human condition, one that manifests itself prominently in the practice of sport. In this chapter, readers are introduced to the concepts of play, sport, and humanism—in particular, an understanding of humanism informed significantly by the work of philosopher Richard Rorty. Why should sport matter to the humanist? Because sport draws upon our fundamental nature as beings who play. It teaches us that we can passionately and meaningfully engage in play while also recognizing the fundamental contingency of the very activities that manifest play. Sport, when viewed through a humanist lens, can play an important role in a humanist vision of the future.

Keywords: play, sport, humanism, Richard Rorty, William James

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