Philosophical theories of sport have evolved over the centuries. They typically take one of two forms: descriptive or normative. Descriptive theories attempt to define the central concepts of sports, while normative theories aim to explain how sport should be played and organized. The two categories of theories can be further separated into internalist and externalist ones. Both internalist and externalist theories draw heavily on structuralism and Marxism, and William J. Morgan has identified three types of externalist theories: Commodification theory and theorist of the body (theory of the body). The first type focuses on the materiality of sports, and the second is concerned with its meaning as an embodied experience.
Both of these accounts suggest that games are social practices. Social practice and embodied play are important elements of games, and their players must respect their own interests and those of others. These two views can lead to conflicting claims about the nature of sports, and may also encourage people to play games that don’t represent the interests of their participants. This approach also calls into question the validity of the term ‘game’ in the modern context of social interaction.
A privileged autocrat often decided what was and wasn’t a sport. For example, a Royal person could make the rules of a game, while a landowner in a baron’s domain would set the amount of stomping and scraping allowed. Taking part in such games often meant exposing oneself to extreme risks. Games like this often involved violence, and even invasions were commonplace in medieval villages.
The development of a culture’s language through its sport has been vital to the evolution of human society. In order for a sport to be legitimate, the language of the game must have some kind of significance for people. That means that it is crucial to study the language and philosophy of sport. The most important aspect of philosophy of sport is its ability to foster improvement. Without improvement, the sport won’t have a chance to gain credibility. So, the philosophy of sport is critical to society and the development of human beings.
Aesthetic values of sports vary widely from other forms of aesthetic appreciation. Because of the multiplicity of purposes, the game can produce aesthetically pleasant experiences. In fact, Mumford argues that the values of sport depend on the game itself. In his view, all sports yield aesthetic experiences related to motion, grace, high-level abstract forms, and innovation. Edgar, however, rejects this view as it ignores the ugly side of sport. Therefore, sport is a privileged form of aesthetic experience.
The British Empire acted as a centralized location for modern sport development. During this period, sports developed in various postcolonial areas, including the British Isles. The British also exported raw materials of the sport originating elsewhere. Rugby football, for example, became a popular game in postcolonial Africa. Eventually, these games became the most widespread modern sport. This is where the’modern’ term is used. In terms of diversity, sports have developed across the world throughout the ages.