The heights of humanity: Endurance sport and the strenuous mood

Douglas Hochstetler, Peter Matthew Hopsicker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In his article, 'Recovering Humanity: Movement, Sport, and Nature', Doug Anderson addresses the place of endurance sport, or more generally sport at large, as a potential catalyst for the good life. Anderson contrasts transcendental themes of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson with the pragmatic claims of William James and John Dewey, who focus on human possibility and growth. Our aim is to pursue the pragmatic line of thought championed by James and Dewey as a contrasting but not mutually exclusive motive to Anderson's analysis. We contend that movement can provide humanizing possibilities even more pronounced for those subscribing to pragmatic themes (i.e., growth and the strenuous mood). We will use running and cycling to demonstrate how the strenuous mood enhances the possibility for this humanizing condition. Specifically, we argue that moving in a committed fashion allows us to deepen our relationship with the respective practice and thus opens the possibilities for 'recovering our humanity'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-135
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Philosophy of Sport
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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