Subjectivity in Physical Education as Condition for Preserving Human Identity

PhD, Associate Professor L.V. Byankina1
Dr.Sc.Philos., Professor M.A. Manikovskaya2
1Far Eastern State Academy of Physical Culture, Khabarovsk
2Pacific State University, Khabarovsk

Keywords: subjectivity, physical education, existential, symbolic and institutional forms.

Background. It is known that the ideal of a harmoniously developed personality with a perfect spirit and body was formed in antiquity. Thus, great Socrates, as quoted in Diogenes Laertius, admitted that "there is only one good - knowledge" and asserted the decisive role of the body in its acquisition. "He was engaged in bodily exercises and enjoyed good health..., led such a healthy way of life that when the plague befell Athens, he escaped unharmed" [2, p.110-111]. This impactful ancient Greek mythological subjects, both thought and practice of cultivating a healthy, beautiful body, which gave rise to the Olympic movement, transcending controversies, extremes of absolution in various historical periods first of the spirit, then of the body has now acquired particular acuity and importance.
Objective of the study was to scientifically substantiate the subjectivity in physical education as a condition for preserving human identity from the perspective of philosophy.
Results and discussion. The theoretical and methodological premise of this analytical study is oriented towards a broad ontological perspective, which makes it possible to consistently accumulate the potential of the theory of physical education, psychology, and philosophical anthropology. The guiding goal proves the grounding relation of the personal identity to subjectivity in physical education. Hence, there is a need for a conceptual interpretation of this relation.
We believe it is fundamentally important that the essential components of physical education are singled out to start moving towards the goal. Both at the level of the commonplace sense and sometimes at the level of the specialized knowledge of physical education practitioners, this phenomenon is mainly associated with activities entirely focused on the development and improvement of man's physical qualities and the formation of the bodily culture. But, as noted above, physical education has a unique ability to harmonize spiritual and physical (corporal), thus forming an integral personality. The authoritative physical education specialists [1] analyze it in the context of the epistemological domain of philosophical anthropology, centered on the problem of preserving man's authenticity, integrity and completeness of his personality. The comment of I.M. Bykhovskaya, that "the corporal and spiritual unity ensured by the true physical education and underlying it, testifies to its high potential of formation of an integral personality in real unity of its originally opposing qualities" [1, p.118] seems productive to us as we hold the opinion that physical education, just as culture in general, is a way of our being, a meaningful form of relationship with the Other [5]. Physical education shapes human existence in a particular manner, transforms (gives a well-thought-out image) corporal human nature, bolsters personal aspirations and will to physical improvement through the activities of specially organized social institutions. What is meant here is, of course, the difficulty in defining the term "culture", but it is a special and broad subject and we are addressing it as required by the logic of theoretical discourse: to determine a reflexively formulated position on the original concept.
The ever-increasing variety of interpretations of the term "culture", seeking to "capture its content in the categorical toils", indicates the methodological productivity of the search for a valid paradigm of comprehension and the phenomenon of interest. Paradigmatic searches open the prospect of analytics of physical education as such a way of human life, which is carried out in three interdependent forms: existential, symbolic and institutional.
Explanation of the proposed conceptual approach requires the inclusion of a subject matter related to the understanding of the key notion - subjectivity. This is due to the fact that the classical subject is currently undergoing changes caused by the problems of modern epistemology. Despite the fact that in non-classical epistemology the subject-object paradigm that Descartes represented loses its methodological versatility, this does not mean that the theoretical-methodological significance and heuristic potential of subject and subjectivity are leveled out. On the contrary, the reasons, recognizing the need to regain trust in the empirical subject and realize its fruitful interpretative resources, are being strengthened [3]. The concept of "subject", which originated in antiquity, is eventually acquiring other meanings, thus expanding and enriching cultural possibilities. The historical semantics of the subject indicates that its semantic (categorical meaning) content is realized in the ability to actively interact with the world, conceptualize, structure new relations, reflexively shaped authorship, personal position.
A wide range of cultural possibilities, which are being opened before the subject, is realized through physical education. Each of its forms - existential, symbolic, institutional - embodies and actualizes different modes or images of subjectivity. Subjectivity does not lose its significance; its meaning is being modified and deepened demonstrating the theoretical, methodological and practical credibility of subjectivity. The sequence of physical education forms does not exclude but rather considers their overlapping in the process of development and improvement of man's corporal and physical existence.
According to the basic proposition of modern philosophical anthropology, man, as an open-minded being, has an infinite variety of life paths ahead for him. And being a conscious being, man chooses his own image and project of being-in-the-world "in the face of other people" (Sartre). It was as early as at the Renaissance that they came to a realization that man chooses his "... place, face, and duty ... of his own free will, in accordance with his decision" [4, p. 249]. And he is the one responsible for his life-purpose choices. Awareness of existential responsibility for physical improvement, existential form is distinguished by freedom, energy with which ideas are generated, reflexive expression of intentions, desires, and at the same time fear of the chosen burden.
Conclusion. Subjectivity in physical education enables to set the tone and shape human reality in terms of its corporal modality in the form of templates: desirable images of corporal characteristics. This process has a symbolic (or strictly cultural) form of the phenomenon under study. The symbolic form aims to develop and create the models of desirable images of physical perfectness, scientifically substantiated programs and methods of their implementation.
The indispensable creative potential of physical culture can be fully realized only if there is optimal physical activity, an extensive system of special social institutions. These include not only educational institutions, but also social institutions that perform the functions of management, planning, financing, and information support. The subjectivity of physical education, which is successfully carried out in all its forms, is able to form not only personal identity, but also the nation, as demonstrated by the experience of vivid sporting events.

References

  1. Bykhovskaya I.M. Homo somaticos: axiology of the human body. M.: Editorial URSS, 2000. 208 p.
  2. Diogenes Laertius, Losev A. F.  [ed.] On life, teachings and sayings of famous philosophers. M.L. Gasparov (transl.), 2nd ed. М.: Mysl publ., 1986. 571p.
  3. Mikeshina L.A. Philosophy of knowledge. Problems of epistemology of humanitarian knowledge. 2nd ed., sup.. M.: «Kanon » ROOI «Reabilitatsiya» publ., 2009. 560 p.
  4. Shestakov V.P. Aesthetics of Renaissance: Anthology. In 2 vol v. 1. M.: Iskusstvo publ., 1981. 495 p.
  5. Yachin S.E. Analytics of human life: introduction to experience of self-¬knowledge. Systematic review. M.: INFRA¬M publ., 2014. 210 p.

Corresponding author: larisa.byankina@gmail.com

Abstract
The cross-idea of this article is to make subjectivity in physical culture theoretically and methodologically legitimate since it is a necessary condition for maintaining personal integrity and identity. Due to its unique ability to harmonize spiritual and physical, physical education is entirely focused on the solution of the problem of formation of social and cultural identity of a person. Paradigmatic searches open the prospect of analytics of physical education as such a way of human life, which is carried out in three interdependent forms: existential, symbolic and institutional. This theoretical and methodological move makes it possible to activate the potential of physical culture, which, as a rule, is meant, but is either on the periphery of researchers’ attention or remains beyond the scope of scientific reflection.
The authors note that the indispensable creative potential of physical culture can be fully realized only if there is optimal physical activity, an extensive system of special social institutions. These include not only educational institutions, but also social institutions that perform the functions of management, planning, financing, and information support. The subjectivity of physical education, which is successfully carried out in all its forms, is able to form not only personal identity, but also the nation, as demonstrated by the experience of vivid sporting events.