The Sport for All Ideal: A Tool for Enhancing Human Capabilities and Dignity
Sport, as a child of modernity, is intertwined with typically modern elements, such as the search for universality, competition, and the fascination for measurement. As modernity is essentially defined, in legal and moral terms, as a search for universally grounded moral principles or basic human rights, modern sports are widely seen as a means to promote typically modern values such as dignity. This paper conceives of the term "dignity" in light of the capabilities approach upheld by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen. According to these authors, dignity is conferred according to certain human basic capabilities that we all are entitled to. This is the reason why this article explores how sport can be a tool for enhancing and exercising such human capabilities. In so doing, I shall argue that the Sport for All ideal provides us with a normative proposal to achieve such a task since it embodies the basic spirit and ethical goals of our modern society. Moreover, connecting the promotion of dignity to the capabilities approach will allow us not just to use sport as a means for development, but also to provide us with specific criteria to evaluate the impact of sport in the wider society regarding the promotion of people‘s dignity.
- Beashe Beashel, P., & Taylor, J. (1996). Advanced studies in physical education and sport. Cheltenham, England: Thomas Nelson and Sons.
- Bodin, D., & Sempé, G. (2011). Ethics and sport in Europe. Strasbourg, Germany: Council of Europe Publishing.
- Coalter, F. (2010). Sport-for-development: Going beyond the boundary? Sport in Society: Culture, Commerce, Media, Politics, 13(9), 1374-1392.
- Conill, J. (1998). Horizontes de economía ética. Madrid: Tecnos.
- Dixon, R., & Nussbaum, M.C. (2011, March). Abortion, dignity, and a capabilities approach. Retrieved from the Chicago Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper No. 345: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/academics/publiclaw/index.html[15-04-2014]
- Eichberg, H. (2010). Bodily democracy: Towards a philosophy of Sport for All. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Fraleigh, W. (1984). Right Actions in Sport: Ethics for Contestants. Champaign, ILL: Human Kinetics Publisher
- Giulianotti, R. (2004). Human rights, globalization and sentimental education: The case of sport. Sport in Society: Culture, Commerce, Media, Politics, 7(3), 355-369.
- Grant, E. (2011, 22 September). Equality, dignity, and independence through sport. Retrieved from the United States International Council on Disabilities: http://usicd.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/equality-dignity-and-independencethrough-sport/[20-04-2014]
- Kreft, L. (2014). Sport, education and peace. In E. Isidori, F. López Frías, & A. Muller (Eds.), Philosophy, sport and education (pp. 13-32). Rome, Italy: Sette Cittá.
- Levermore, R., & Beacom, A. (2009). Sport and development: Mapping the field. In R. Levermore, & A. Beacom (Eds.), Sport and international development (pp. 1-25). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
- López Frías, F. (2012). The psycho-biological bases of sport supporters' behaviour: The virtuous supporter. Sport, ethics and philosophy, 6(4), 423-438.
- Moller, V. (2011). The expulsion of Michael Rasmussen from the Tour de France 2007: A manifestation of the ideal of a level playing field? In M. McNamee, & V. Møller (Eds.), Doping and anti-doping policy in sport. (pp. 200-216). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Nussbaum, M. C. (1997). Capabilities and human rights. Fordham Law Review, 66(2), 273-300.
- Nussbaum, M. C. (2011). Creating capabilities: The human development approach. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Parry, J. (2007). Sport, ethos and education. In J. Parry, M. Nesti, S. Robinson, & N. Watson, Sport and spirituality: An introduction (pp. 186-200). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Passerin d'Entreves, M., & Benhabib, S. (1997). Habermas and the unfinished project of modernity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Sen, A. (2005). Human rights and capabilities. Journal of Human Development, 6(2), 151-166.
- Simon, R.L. (2007). Good competition and drug-enhanced performance. In W.J. Morgan (Ed.), Ethics in sport (2nd ed.; pp. 245-253). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
- Wachter, F. (2002). Education for peace in sport education. In M.A. Holowchak (Ed.), Philosophy of sport: Critical readings, crucial issues (pp. 446-453). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Wamsley, K.B. (2004). Laying Olympism to rest. In J. Bale, & M.K. Christensen (Eds.), Post-Olympism? Questioning sport in the twenty-first century (pp. 231-242). New York, NY: Berg Publishers