3-1 | Contemporary Athletics and Ancient Greek Ideals

Book Review

Contemporary Athletics and Ancient Greek Ideals

Daniel A. Dombrowski
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Bibliography, index. 167 pp. $35.00 paper. ISBN: 9780226155463

by Thomas S. Henricks

First Paragraph:

Are the ideals of ancient Greece still pertinent to the lives of modern people? Philosopher Daniel Dombrowski argues that concepts from Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, and others continue to be important tools for analyzing one of most prominent obsessions of contemporary societies—athletics. A sports fan himself, Domborwski is aware of the potential benefits of sports to participants and spectators (aesthetic realization, moral tutelage, physical development, community identity, and the like). But he also recognizes the dangers of highly organized, commercially developed sports (excessive preoccupation with victory, cheating, boorish behavior, the idolization of the athlete, and so forth). In this context, his book attempts to reimagine some moral and aesthetic possibilities for modern sport and for sports people like players, coaches, and fans.