Accepted Paper:

Sport: in the search for immortality  


Jernej Pisk

Paper short abstract:

The main question addressed in this paper is: are there any connections between popularity of modern sport and human search for immortality?

Paper long abstract:

There is only one real problem each human being faces and this is death, because nobody lives eternally. In the essence, human is a mortal being; being-unto-death, as posed it Heidegger. But human being never reconciles with this fact. Since ancient time humans have been searching ways to become immortal; to somehow stay alive eternally. In this paper we will focus on one specific common understanding of immortality among people - immortality in memory. Since ancient Greece success and fame have meant not only different privileges in the community but also achieving immortality. Artists, politicians and athletes - all of them were trying to become well-known. So other people would remember them after their death, praise them, and keep them in their memory. In times when transcendental immortality was not known (or accepted), this was the only mean to become immortal. Till now list and statues of ancient Greek Olympic champions survived. So in a way champions are still alive - they achieved immortality. With the rise of metaphysic in philosophy and the Christianity with transcendental understanding of immortality also the need to be famous, to stay alive in memory declined. But nowadays, when the faith in transcendental immortality is weak, once again the ancient notion of immortality is becoming more and more powerful. Being fame, recognized among others, staying in the memory of others - that can be one of important causes for trying hard to become a champion in the field of sport.

Panel W007
Staging sport and celebration: the power of play