Wide shot of a bookshelf

Emotion In Sports

Yunus Tuncel
Professor Philosophy And Religious Studies, NYC

Emotion In Sports by Yunus Tuncel

What is the central theme of your book?

What is emotion? How has this subject been approached by past philosophers and, to some extent, by psychoanalysts? What types of emotions cultivate the spirit of sport or what types destroy it? How can we deal with our intense emotions in the sporting context? These were some of the questions I dealt with in this book.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had presented a paper on this topic at the conference of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport in Cardiff in September 2015. The editor, at the time, of the series that published my book happened to be one of my listeners. He liked the topic and he asked me to submit a proposal. That is how it all started. I gave myself two years to write it. It was an exciting process, but the subject is immense and there is so much literature from different fields. I think in this book, I touched only the tip of the iceberg.

Why is this book important in your field? What does it contribute to the current body of knowledge on its topic?

First, human-beings are emotional beings. What we feel and how we express our emotions is crucial to our own well-being and the well-being of others, whether it is in sport or any other walk of life. In sport philosophy, there are some works on this topic, but more work is needed to be done in this immense field, and more inter-disciplinary collaboration. And I hope my book opens up new debates and triggers more research and publications.

Were students involved in any research related to your book? If so, please explain and name the student(s).

No students were directly involved in this book. However, I had a lot of informative debates with many students of mine and there should be some echoes of those debates in this book.

Tell me about a particularly special moment in writing this book.

There were many special moments, especially in formal or informal debates on the subject of the book. But I want to share something else that happened during the proofs of the book. I had to meet the deadlines, but I was at my parents’ mountain house in southern Turkey. They or their neighbors had no internet and I got into my father’s car and looked for a place that may have internet. I found it in a village. This may not sound interesting to many who live here, but these places did not even have electricity until recent times.

What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

I hope that they reflect on what it means to cultivate positive emotions both for their own well-being and the well-being of those who are directly or indirectly affected by their emotions, whether in sports or in any part of their lives.

What other books have you had published?

Towards a Genealogy of Spectacle (Eye Corner Press, 2011), Agon in Nietzsche (Marquette University Press, 2013), and Nietzsche & Transhumanism (editor, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018).

Fun Facts

When did you join Dyson College?

Fall, 2000.

What motivates you as a teacher?

To see students learning, developing their own thinking skills, to have passions for what they do and to work on them and, in return, for me to be inspired by them.

Who is your favorite philosopher and why?

Nietzsche. I did my doctoral work on his philosophy and many of his ideas are relevant to our age. His works present a wealth of ideas not to copy from but rather to appropriate creatively based on the needs of our times.

What do you do in your spare time; to relax/unwind?

I go to the gym, do yoga, go out with friends and family, go to movies (I still like to see a movie on a large screen), and take short trips outside the city. In general, for long spare times, I travel the world with my wife and daughter.

What are you reading right now?

I love history. I am reading a recent book on Roman history, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard. I recommend it highly for anyone interested in Roman history.