Bodily Democracy: Towards a Philosophy of Sport for All

Henning Eichberg

Research output: Book/reportMonographResearch



Sport has gained increasing importance for welfare society. In this process, however, the term of ‘sport' has become less and less clear. Larger parts of what nowadays is called ‘sport for all' are non-competitive and derived from traditions of gymnastics, dance, festivity, games, outdoor activities, and physical training rather than from classical modern elite sports. This requires new philosophical approaches, as the philosophy of sport, so far, has been dominated by topics of elite sports.

Based on Scandinavian experiences, the book presents studies about festivities of sport, outdoor activities, song and movement, and play and game. The engagement of elderly people challenges sports. Games get political significance in international cooperation, for peace culture, and as means against poverty (in Africa). The empirical studies result in philosophical analyses on the recognition of folk practice in education and on relations between identity and recognition.

The study of ‘sport for all' opens up for new ways of phenomenological knowledge, moving bottom-up from sport to the philosophy of "the individual", of event, of nature, and of human energy. Popular sports give inspiration to a philosophy of practice as well as to a phenomenological understanding of ‘the people', of civil society and the ‘demos' of democracy - as folk in movement.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon + New York
PublisherSpon press
Number of pages348
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-55933-1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
SeriesEthics and sport


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