Along with several philosophy of sport colleagues, I have an article in a recently published special issue of Cultura_Ciencia_Deporte (Vol 13, No. 38). The issues explores philosophical theories of play, sport, and games.
My article focuses on the value of play and argues that play, like virtue and friendship, is an important part of the good human life.
The Value of Play and The Good Human Life by Shawn E. Klein
The dominant conception of play in philosophy of sport is that it is autotelic. This conception is the subject of important criticisms by Stephen Schmid and others. With these criticisms in mind, my paper seeks to move the discussion of play beyond the apparent dichotomy of autotelicity and instrumentality. Drawing a parallel to the role virtue and friendship have in a broadly construed (neo-)Aristotelian ethic, I argue that play is an important part of the good human life. Like virtue and friendship, play is chosen both for the sake of its importance to the good life and for its own sake. It is partly constitutive of the good life and thus chosen as part of and for the sake of the good life. At the same time, however, play is chosen for its own sake: for what it is distinct from any further ends it might bring about. Thus, play is not autotelic, but nor is it instrumental. Play should be considered, therefore, a constituent value of the good human life.
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.
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.