The Phenomenology and the Philosophy of Running

pp 17-24


Running as Phenomenological and Bodily Inquiry of the Self

  • Tapio KoskiAffiliated withUniversity of Tampere

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A basic assumption for the study is that running produces a variety of experiences. Running is a versatile physical exercise which, however, does not immediately reveal all of the dimensions it has. This chapter focuses on opening up the versatility of long-distance running and what it means to the runner personally. The most central point of view is that it is possible to uncover various levels of human experience. Some preliminary thematic assumptions are made on the nature of bodily and mental experiences and their relationship with the conceptual ideas. The problem setting of the study and the author’s approach to it are introduced. The structure of the book is sketched out and preliminary notions are made on the problem of human self-consciousness with the help of Dilthey’s concept pair of reflexive-reflective (Erlebnis-Erfahrung) and the concept of lived experience. An individual is reviewed in terms of one’s way of life and in a broader philosophical cultural context of perennial philosophy, i.e. how long-distance running as an exercise and way of life relates to the spiritual traditions of mankind and to the fundamental issues of human existence.


Goal of the study Long-distance running Existential phenomenology Erfahrung-Erlebnis Perennial philosophy One’s own existential potentials