Monthly Archives: May 2017

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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Filed under Examined Sport, games, Philosophy, podcast

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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Filed under Books, Reviews, Sports Studies

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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Media Mention: Bleacher Report on 12 Year-Old MMA Fighter

I was quoted in Mike Chiappetta‘s article at Bleacher Report on a 12 year-old MMA fighter in Japan. The intriguing aspect of this story is the 12 year-old is making her debut against a 24 year-old fighter in an amateur bout on May 20.

Here’s my bit:

Dr. Shawn Klein, a lecturer of philosophy and a sports ethicist at Arizona State University, said the pivotal issue is not Momo’s age but her ability to offer consent. At 12, children are still developing emotionally, cognitively and physically, and they don’t fully understand the future consequences of their actions.

“I would think on average, it would be wrong for a 12-year-old to do this, but I think there can be exceptions if you have a 12-year-old who is exceptional across the board,” Klein said.

“If you have a young person who is capable of great maturity and forethought and advanced physical abilities in the ring, it seems like you would want to allow her to engage those capacities while making sure it’s safe.”

And…

For the fight to take place, Momo’s coach, parents and schoolteachers all had to give their full approval.

“That does help assuage some concern that we might have about whether she’s being taking advantage of, being exploited, that it’s not some sort of circus spectacle that is going to do some long-term damage to her development both as a fighter but more importantly as a person,” Klein said.

“So if she has good support around her and folks who are concerned with long-term interest as well, that’s helpful. That’s the biggest thing about 12-year-olds. Certainly, they can think through a lot of things. They can be bright and precocious, but that long-term vision of life is not there.”

Read the full article here.

More of my media mentions.

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PHI 394: Sports Ethics (Fall 2017)

I will be teaching Sports Ethics at ASU this Fall. For ASU students: this course can be used to meet part of your upper-division elective requirement.

PHI 394: Sports EthicsSlide1

A study of moral issues in sports, including, but not limited to, the value of sport, the nature of sportsmanship, the prohibition of performance-enhancing drugs, the value of fandom, the social effects of sport, and the role of danger and violence in sport.

The class will meet Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:30 – 11:45 am.

Here’s the reading list from Fall 2016 (Bear in mind there will likely be some changes to readings and/or topics): https://sportsethicist.com/2016/08/12/sports-ethics-at-asu-fall-2016/

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Filed under Arizona State, Classes, Sports Ethics, Sports Studies