Athletic records are cherished because of their assumed impartiality and objectivity. However, athletic records do not fully and accurately describe the events that they purport to describe. That is because athletic records do not take account of the myriad factors that influence the outcome of any athletic event. Contingency, novelty, luck, obstacles and opportunities all make a difference to what is achieved. Since records abstract from all of these, they do not tell us what did occur, but only the outcome of a multitude of factors of which we take no notice. The singular goal of an athlete is to make maximal use of his body to attain an outstanding result in the particular situation in which he finds himself.
"Records and the Man,"
Philosophic Exchange: Vol. 3
, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/phil_ex/vol3/iss1/10
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