Broken body: A philosophical anthropology inquiry into fighting


Constantino Pereira Martins
Instituto de Estudos Filosóficos, Universidade de Coimbra


This essay delves into the multifaceted meanings of the word “heart”, particularly its philosophical and metaphorical association in combat sports. Symbolically linked to courage, this connection traces back to ancient Greek philosophy, portraying the heart as a rational and natural source of virtue and bravery.

The analysis unfolds in two distinct sections: firstly, a philosophical genealogy dissects the rational dimensions of the term under examination, highlighting its various associations and meanings. Secondly, an exploration of the qualities inherent in a fighter is undertaken by focusing on the imagery surrounding the notion of “heart”.

The essay employs a blend of pragmatism and mysticism, drawing from the experiences and testimonies of Muay Thai fighters and trainers. This approach aims to uncover the elusive and mysterious aspects of courage, transcending the limitations of language in exploring the essence of these rare qualities. This will be an attempt to penetrate the realm of those scarce things where words seem to abandon us.


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CONSTANTINO PEREIRA MARTINS, b. 1974, Lisbon. PhD in Philosophy at NOVA University of Lisbon with the support of FCT. Researcher at IEF of  the University of Coimbra, creator and founder of FilArch and AFDLP. Member of ENJP and IAPS. His current research focuses on four key areas: Humor, Politics, Sports and Architecture. He was a visiting researcher at USP, São Paulo, and Concordia University, Montreal.


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