The final of the 2010 World Cup has become notorious for the style of the Dutch play, preventing the flowing and beautiful football of the Spanish.  But if we criticise the Dutch, does this mean that we want a sporting event to be beautiful, and as such an aesthetic experience, rather just a sporting contest?

Considering other games in the World Cup, we might also ask if sport has a meaning beyond the mere entertainment of the game.  What, for example, was happening when we found ourselves supporting plucky little North Korea against Brazil?  What sort of communal self-reflection did its early exit from the cup encourage in France?  Does sport invited us to tell stories and engages in dramas that impact upon our non-sporting lives?

On 21 December, fom 7.30pm, join Dr Andrew Edgar (Philosophy, Cardiff University) in the Cafe Bar at The Gate to explore these, and other questions.


Ahead of the session, why not try this poll?

The 2010 World Cup final was judged by many to be a particularly bad-tempered and even ugly match, due to the many fouls (see video clip below, particularly at 1:30).

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One thought on “Next Cafe: A Beautiful Game? The Philosophy of Art and the 2010 World Cup final”

  1. Funny things, arts and sports. Our estrangement from art and sports is realised in many ways. They aren’t activities any more, they are spectator events.

    Most football clubs are international companies. They throw a bone to fans by basing their enterprise in local towns and cities. And while the celebrities of football international companies rake in money that belongs to the fans, elsewhere sports and arts are financed by another form of legalised theft – gambling and the lottery.

    This is not surprising as, I think Tolstoy would say, most western sport and art is theft of some sort. Theft of our cash or participation. Usually both. Football (and most sports and arts) participation has for the most part vanished, and been replaced by window shopping. Any philosophy that comes out of an analysis of western sport is a philosophy of window shopping.

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