The Sport for All Ideal: A Tool for Enhancing Human Capabilities and Dignity
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Sport, as a child of modernity, is intertwined with typically modern elements, such as the search for universality, competition, and the fascination for measurement. As modernity is essentially defined, in legal and moral terms, as a search for universally grounded moral principles or basic human rights, modern sports are widely seen as a means to promote typically modern values such as dignity. This paper conceives of the term "dignity" in light of the capabilities approach upheld by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen. According to these authors, dignity is conferred according to certain human basic capabilities that we all are entitled to. This is the reason why this article explores how sport can be a tool for enhancing and exercising such human capabilities. In so doing, I shall argue that the Sport for All ideal provides us with a normative proposal to achieve such a task since it embodies the basic spirit and ethical goals of our modern society. Moreover, connecting the promotion of dignity to the capabilities approach will allow us not just to use sport as a means for development, but also to provide us with specific criteria to evaluate the impact of sport in the wider society regarding the promotion of people‘s dignity.
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