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Philosophical Theories of Sport Fan and Spectator Behaviour

Davis, Paul (2022) Philosophical Theories of Sport Fan and Spectator Behaviour. In: Routledge Resources Online - Sport Studies. Routledge Resources Online . Routledge, London.

Item Type: Book Section


Until the twenty-first century, the philosophy of sport had precious little to say about watching sport. The current century has already seen vigorous redress of that oversight. The topics which have been addressed include: is following a sports team or performer like being in love? Does following a team or performer carry moral risk? Can it be rational or even required to abandon a partisan attachment on moral grounds? Is partisanship best avoided altogether when watching sport? If so, what alternative stances are there? Is there an ideal way of watching sport? Can watching sport be a virtuous enterprise, providing opportunities for consolidation and even improvement of one’s character? There is some overlap between those questions. This article first explains the putative analogy between partisan fandom and being in love. It then recognises one precise, related moral hazard of partisanship. It goes on to explain a non-partisan way of watching sport (‘purism’) and a putative ideal fan, the ‘moderate partisan’, who is a hybrid of partisan and purist. The article then notes some objections to the notion of an ideal fan in general and the moderate partisan in particular, the resultant abandonment of the former by its progenitor, and the latter’s recontoured arguments that there is special value in being a moderate partisan. The article then explains problems with the outlooks of the purist and moderate partisan qua sport fans, before explaining an alternative of the cognoscente. The main body of the article concludes by touching upon questions around identity, expression and ethics in sport fandom.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: love; purist; partisan; identity; ethics
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Depositing User: Paul Davis


Item ID: 17865
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ORCID for Paul Davis: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2024 13:28
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 13:30


Author: Paul Davis ORCID iD


Social Sciences

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