Football and Ideal

Josiah Royce

in Race Questions, Provincialism, and Other American Problems

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231324
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235568 | DOI:

Series: American Philosophy

Football and Ideal

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This chapter, first published as an essay in 1908, follows the argument of the physical training chapter in the original Race Questions volume. According to Royce, football is a great social force in their country. The general point is that while the players may be cultivating loyalty in their play, the spectators are not. He has in mind big sports events where the behavior of the spectators is that of a crowd—a release from thinking rather than an effort to cultivate loyalty. The chapter claims that the problem is that many claim that sport fosters loyalty in the crowd because of fan commitment. However, Royce argues that it mistakenly suggests that cheering for a team and celebrating their victories are loyalty. While the athletes work hard and learn the skills of loyalty, the spectators do nothing or, worse, do things that undermine loyalty.

Keywords: football; social force; spectators; team; athletes; sports events

Chapter.  5029 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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