2022 Abstracts Stage 2

Can Phenomenology Provide a Valid Account of the Runner’s High?

Molly Curzon, 2022, Stage 2

This project will explore the object of the runner’s high within the territory of Phenomenology, in particular, the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty in The Phenomenology of perception and the work of Martin Heidegger in Being and Time. The runner’s high is generally understood as acute and positive mood changes that occur with running and jogging over long distances, that can be explained by the scientific endorphin hypothesis. However, this project aims to show that this is limited as it does not provide an account of our actual human experience of the runner’s high. It draws on literature and blogs that describe the author’s personal experience of the runners high in order to analyse this phenomenon as it actually appears to us. The application of phenomenology is significant in proving an account of this as it includes the way things are experienced by humans and treats this phenomenon as real and significant. To an extent, this project argues that Phenomenology can provide a valid account of the runner’s high as the application of Heidegger’s work partially provides an explanation of key factors in our experiences of the runner’s high. However, the application of Merleau-Ponty’s work provides a more sufficient account.

Leave a Reply