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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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10/30/2007 Professor to discuss sports and character

McMINNVILLE – The exploration of character and self-knowledge in sports will be the focus of an upcoming faculty lecture at Linfield College.

Jesus Ilundain-Agurruza, assistant professor of philosophy, will present “Pushing the Envelope: Sport, Limits and Wisdom” on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield. It is free and open to the public.

Ilundain will discuss the Socratic pursuit of “knowing thyself” within the arena of sports, where one can easily assess a person’s values, actions and character. Ilundain argues that amidst the intense physical and mental activity of an athlete lies an undisturbed center that offers opportunities for self-knowledge.

“My intent is to discuss and present risky and high-performance sports to argue that these activities may be the source of self-knowledge, particularly when one is pushing limits of performance and safety,” Ilundain said.

Ilundain first became interested in this topic when he researched philosophy, swordsmanship and intellectual approaches to performance in the East and West about a year ago. He has found that his work proposes a redefinition of common notions of what it is to be rational, or knowledgeable about one’s own self.

“I think it presents new venues to become wiser in non-traditional ways for people who love to engage their thinking in both intellectual and physical ways,” he said.

Ilundain received his master’s in sociology of sport and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has previously taught at the University of New Mexico in Los Alamos and Truman State University.

The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.