Convention, Audience, and Narrative: Which Play is the Thing?

Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 38 (2):135-148 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper argues against the conception of sport as theatre. Theatre and sport share the characteristic that play is set in a conventionally-defined hypothetical reality, but they differ fundamentally in the relative importance of audience and the narrative point of view. Both present potential for participants for development of selfhood through play and its personal possibilities. But sport is not essentially tied to audience as is theatre. Moreover, conceptualising sport as a form of theatre valorises the spectator’s narrative as normative for sport experience over that of the participant athlete or player, eliding player experience. Imposition of external narratives over experience risks fossilising interpretation and inhibits the beneficial effects of play for self-realisation, especially as a form of self-examination and creation through internal self-narrative.

Author's Profile

Leslie A. Howe
University of Saskatchewan


Added to PP

401 (#36,675)

6 months
95 (#36,001)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?