Publication: “An Argument against Athletes as Political Role Models”

I’m excited to announce the publication of my article, “An Argument against Athletes as Political Role Models” in the latest issue of FairPlay, Journal of Philosophy, Ethics and Sports Law. 

Article abstract:

A common refrain in and outside academia is that prominent sports figures ought to engage more in the public discourse about political issues. This idea parallels the idea that athletes ought to be role models in general. This paper first examines and critiques the “athlete as role model” argument and then applies this critique to the “athlete as political activist” argument. Appealing to the empirical political psychological literature, the paper sketches an argument that athlete activism might actually do more harm than good.

This was part of a special issue on Colin Kaepernick. My article doesn’t really focus on Kaepernick that much–he’s more of a jumping off point for the argument I want to focus on. The other articles in the issue look much more closely on the case of Kaepernick. It’s fair to say, my take is not the consensus view.

You can download and read the article (PDF): An Argument against Athletes as Political Role Models

Full Citation: Shawn E. Klein (2017): An Argument against Athletes as Political Role Models, Fair Play. Revista de Filosofía, Ética y Derecho del Deporte, vol. 10.

An earlier version of this paper was originally presented at Penn State’s Center for the Study of Sports in Society’s Sports Ethics Conference.

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Examined Sport: Edwin Delattre, “Some Reflections on Success And Failure in Competitive Athletics”

In this episode of Examined Sport, I discuss Edwin Delattre’s 1975 paper: “Some Reflections on Success And Failure in Competitive Athletics.” This papers stands out for the distinction between winning and success; and losing from failure. It is also one of the earliest accounts of the logical incompatibility thesis.

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CFP: Special Issue on “Bernard Suits’ Legacy: New Inspirations and Interpretations”

A Call for Papers for a special issue of Sport, Ethics and Philosophy is out. The topic: “Bernard Suits’ Legacy: New Inspirations and Interpretations.”

The editors of the special issue: Filip Kobiela, José Luis Pérez Triviño, and Francisco Javier López Frías

The special issue is dedicated to philosophical and moral questions related to Bernard Suit’s legacy.

  • Abstract submission deadline: October 30, 2017
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: November 30, 2017
  • Full manuscript submission deadline: May 30, 2018
  • Publication: End of 2018/Early 2019

For more information and details, including possible topics and submission instructions: http://philosophyofsport.eu/sport-ethics-and-philosophy-special-issue-bernard-suits-legacy-new-inspirations-and-interpretations/

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Examined Sport: Warren Fraleigh: “Why the Good Foul is Not Good”

The intentional foul highlights why it is important to understand the nature of rules in sports. In this episode of Examined Sport, I discuss Warren Fraleigh’s “Why the Good Foul is Not Good.” In this 1982 paper, Fraleigh presents an influential critique of the tactical intentional foul, igniting decades of discussion about the ethics of the intentional or ‘good’ foul.

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Examined Sport: The Ethos of Games

In this episode of Examined Sport, I discuss Fred D’Agostino’s “The Ethos of Games.” In this 1981 paper, D’Agostino critiques Formalist view of games and defends an alternative theory we call conventionalism.

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Examined Sport: Bernard Suits’ “The Elements of Sport”

In this episode of Examined Sport, I examine Bernard Suits’ “The Elements of Sport.” This 1973 essay applies Suits’ definition of game-playing (see the “What is a Game?” episode) to sport.

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Examined Sport: Bernard Suits, “What is a Game?”

In this episode of Examined Sport, I examine Bernard Suits’ “What is a Game?” Suits presents his influential definition of game-playing in this discipline-defining article first published in 1967.

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Announcing: Examined Sport podcast

My old Sports Ethics Show podcast has been on hiatus for far too long. Instead of just starting that back up again, I am relaunching it with a new name, Examined Sport, and a new concept.

The concept is ten to fifteen minute podcasts that focus on arguments or concepts from the philosophy of sport and analyze or explain them in simple and direct ways.

I will look at classic, discipline-defining articles, exciting newly published works, and dig deep to rediscover important but not as well-known papers.

Examined Sport mission:

  1. Extend the reach of the philosophy of sport literature.
  2. Be a resource for students to learn more about philosophy of sport.
  3. Highlight essential themes of the literature.
  4. Rediscover important and interesting papers.
  5. Spur new thought and research in the philosophy of sport.

The first episode is, logically, on Bernard Suits classic article: “What is a Game?” It will be released Tuesday, May 30. Episodes will follow every week or two after that.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can also watch each episode on The Sports Ethicist YouTube channel. (Archives of the old show are also available on iTunes and YouTube.)

If you have ideas for the show, let me know by email or comment below.

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Review of _Defining Sport_

Anne Tjønndal of Nord University, Norway writes a kind review of my anthology Defining Sport at idrottsforum.org, Nordic Sport Science Forum. From the penultimate paragraph:

In my opinion, it has great potential to be a standard tome for many of these groups of readers. If you are looking for a book to give you a short but full introduction to theories of what sport as a concept is, and empirical contributions based on these theoretic approaches, this is the book for you.

Full Review

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Golf As Meaningful Play: A Philosophical Guide

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new book in the Studies in Philosophy of Sport series from Lexington Books:

Golf As Meaningful Play: A Philosophical Guide by W. Thomas Schmid

Golf as Meaningful Play offers a philosophical introduction to golf as a sporting practice and source of personal meaning. It is intended both for scholars interested in the philosophy of sport, and for intellectually curious golfers who seek a better understanding of the game.

This book describes the physical, emotional, mental, and ethical aspects of the game and how they influence golf instruction. It looks at golf as play, game, sport, and spectacle, discusses golf’s heroes, communities, and traditions, and analyzes the role of the virtues in golf, linking them to self-fulfillment, the ultimate good of golf experience. The book concludes with discussions of classic works of golf literary and film art, including Caddyshack, Missing Links, Tin Cup, and Golf in the Kingdom, which celebrate its follies and glories.

The fact that golf can serve as a playful laboratory to test oneself is a deep part of the game’s attraction. Golf, if played well, conveys an experience which unites happiness, excellence, and interpersonal flourishing. This book strives to give an account of golf both as it is and as it ought to be—how golfers may improve their games and even themselves, in meaningful play.

Available at Amazon, Lexington, and other book sellers.

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