Intentionality and Action in Sport: A Discussion of the Views of Searle and Dreyfus
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Artikler / Articles 
Original versionSport, Ethics and Philosophy. 2017, 12, 133-148. 10.1080/17511321.2017.1332677
The article looks at sport as a form of human action where the participants display various forms of Intentionality. Intentionality may be defined as ‘that property of many mental states and events by which they are directed at or about or of objects and states of affairs in the world.’ Sporting actions are about human intentions, beliefs, desires, perceptions and not to forget, movements. This means that sports typically display what we call ‘Intentionality.’ The study of Intentionality and intentional actions has previously received relatively little attention among sport philosophers, but deserves more attention. Even though there is a tension and several differences between continental and analytical approaches to philosophical problems, there is a common understanding of the phenomenon we call ‘Intentionality.’ The debate between John Searle, representing the analytical camp, and Hubert Dreyfus, representing the phenomenological camp, is instructive to see the differences, and also the commonalities between the two approaches. The article starts with a clarification of the concept of Intentionality and sketches some of the history and background of the concept. It then presents the main conceptual framework that Searle uses to distinguish the different types and forms of Intentionality and his views on sporting actions. This is followed by a presentation of the phenomenological approach of Dreyfus and the response by Searle. The article ends by discussing the possibility of a combined and enriched view where a clarification of the logic as well as the phenomenology of sporting actions is needed. It may thus be possible to bridge the gap between the two approaches.
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