Paying Attention to Self and Environment in Nature Sports (2019)

This paper is a personal response to Kevin Krein’s (2015) claim that the value of nature sports over traditional ones is that they offer intensity of sport experience in dynamic interaction between the athlete and natural features. Krein denies that intensity is derived from competitive conflict of individuals, and denies that nature sport derives its value from internal conflict within the athlete who carries out the activity. This paper responds directly to Krein by analysing ‘intensity’ in sport in terms of the relationship between attention and reflection and the interaction between self and environment. The author responds to Krein’s rejection of self-competition as based on a mischaracterisation of internal struggle and argues that the weighing of incompatible desires does not involve a fragmented self. Furtherore, the author argues that the unique intensity to which Krein refers is strongly comparable to the Kantian conception of the sublime and explores how sublime experience fits Krein’s account and outlines some problems that such an ideal of experience poses for nature sport.

CITE: Howe, L.A. (2019). Intensity and the sublime: Paying attention to self and environment in nature sports. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 13(1), 94-106.

#sportecology #naturesport #intensity #environment