Category Archives: Sports Studies

ASU: Sports Ethics and Philosophy of Sport

The ASU Schedule of Classes for Summer and Fall is now available. I am teaching two sport philosophy related classes.

Summer Session A Online: PHI 394 Philosophy of Sport

Course Description:

An inquiry into philosophical issues in sport. Topics and readings will vary, but may include: the nature and definition of sport, the mind-body relationship in sport, epistemological issues in sport technology and officiating, and the aesthetics of sport. Since “Sports Ethics” examines ethical issues in sport, this course will not primarily deal with ethical issues.

Here’s the tentative reading list:

Reid, Heather. An Introduction to Philosophy of Sport. Rowan & Littlefield (2012)

Definition of Sport

  • Bernard Suits, “The Elements of Sport” in Osterhoudt, Robert G. The Philosophy of Sport: a Collection of Original Essays. Springfield, Ill., Thomas, 1973
  • Loy, John. “The Nature of Sport: A Definitional Effort”, Quest, 01 May 1968, Vol.10(1), p.1-15
  • McBride, Frank. “Toward A Non Definition Of Sport.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 2, 1975, pp. 4–11.
  • Schieman, Kevin. “Hopscotch Dreams: Coming to Terms with the Cultural Significance of Sport,” in Defining Sport: Conceptions and Borderlines. Ed. Shawn E. Klein. Lanham, Lexington Books, 2016.

Sport and Play

  • Suits, Bernard. “Words On Play.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 4, 1977, pp. 117–131.
  • Roochnik, David. “PLAY AND SPORT.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 2, 1975, p. 36.

Sport and Games

  • Suits, Bernard. “Tricky Triad: Games, Play, and Sport.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 15, 1988, p. 1.
  • Meier, Klaus V. “Triad Trickery: Playing With Sport and Games.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 15, no. 1, 1988, pp. 11–30.

Sport and Art

  • Cordner, Christopher. “Differences Between Sport and Art.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 15, no. 1, 1988, pp. 31–47.
  • Kaelin, E. F. “The Well-Played Game: Notes Toward an Aesthetics of Sport.” Quest , vol. 10, no. 1, 1968, pp. 16–29.

Mind and Body

  • Wertz, S. K. “The Knowing In Playing.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 5, no. 1, 1978, pp. 39–49.
  • Breivik, Gunnar. “Zombie-Like Or Superconscious? A Phenomenological And Conceptual Analysis Of Consciousness In Elite Sport.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 2012, pp. 1–22.

Officiating and Rules

  • Russell, Js. “Are Rules All an Umpire Has to Work with?” Journal of The Philosophy Of Sport, vol. 26, 1999, pp. 27–49.
  • Dixon, Nicholas. “Canadian Figure Skaters, French Judges, and Realism in Sport.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 30, no. 2, 2003, pp. 103–116.
  • Collins, Harry. “The Philosophy of Umpiring and the Introduction of Decision-Aid Technology.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 37, no. 2, 2010, pp. 135–146.
  • Mcfee, Graham. “Fairness, Epistemology, and Rules: A Prolegomenon to a Philosophy of Officiating?” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 38, no. 2, 2011, pp. 229–253.

Fall C Session: PHI 394: Sports Ethics

MWF 1150 AM – 1240 PM TEMPE BAC-201

Course Description:

A study of moral issues in sports, including but not limited to the nature and application of sportsmanship, the prohibition of performance enhancing drugs, ethical issues in the economics of sports, the role of violence, and fandom.

Tentative Reading List

Unit: Philosophy and Sport: What is ‘sport’ and why study it?

  • Heather Reid, “Socrates at the Ballpark” Baseball and Philosophy. Edited by Eric Bronson. Open Court: Chicago, 2004, pp 273-283.

Unit: Sport and Society: What is the social impact of sport?

  • Jonathan Eig, “Some Good Colored Players” Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. Simon and Schuster: New York, 2007, pp 26-34.
  • Jane Leavy, “The King of the Jews,” Sandy Koufax. Perennial: New York, 2002, pp 167- 174, 193-4.
  • The 16th Man, Dir. Clifford Bestall. ESPN 30 for 30, 2010. Film.

Unit: What is sportsmanship?

  • James Keating, “Sportsmanship as a Moral Category,” Ethics 75, No 1, 1964, pp 25-35.
  • Randolph Feezell, “Sportsmanship,” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, Vol 13, 1986, pp 1-13.

Unit: Is it ethical to run up the score?

  • Nicholas Dixon, “On Sportsmanship and ‘Running Up the Score”; Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, Vol 19, 1992, pp 1-13.
  • Randolph Feezell, “Sportmanship and Blowouts: Baseball and Beyond” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, Vol 26, 1999, pp 68-78.

Unit: Is it wrong to foul?

  • Fraleigh, Warren. “Intentional rules violations — One more time,” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 30, No, 2, 2003, pp 166-176.
  • Simon, Robert. The ethics of strategic fouling: A reply to Fraleigh,” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 32, No. 1, 2005, pp 87-95.

Unit: Is competition moral?

  • Kretchmar, R. Scott. “In Defense of Winning,” Sports Ethics: An Anthology. Ed. By Jan Boxill. Blackwell Publishing, 2003. pp130-135.
  • Simon, Robert. “The Critique of Competition in Sports,” Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport. 2nd Edition. Westview Press: 2004. Pp 19-35.
  • Kohn, Alfie. “Fun and Fitness w/o Competition,” Women’s Sport & Fitness, July/August 1990.

Unit: Violence in Sport: Can fighting or football be justified?

  • Dixon, Nicholas. “A Critique of Violent Retaliation in Sport,” Journal of Philosophy of Sport, Vol 37, No. 1, 2010, pp 1-10.
  • Zakhem, Abe. “The Virtues of a Good Fight: Assessing the Ethics of Fighting in the National Hockey League,” Sports, Ethics and Philosophy, 9, No. 1, 2015, pp 32-46.
  • Russell, J.S. “The Value of Dangerous Sport,” Journal of Philosophy of Sport, 32, No. 1, 2005, pp 1-19.
  • Findler, Patrick, “Should kids play (American) football? Journal of Philosophy of Sport, Vol. 42, No. 3, 2015, pp 443-462.
  • Pam Sailors, “”Personal Foul: an evaluation of moral status of football,” Journal of Philosophy of Sport, 42, No. 2, 2015, pp 269-286.

Unit: Should performance-enhancing drugs be banned?

  • Savulescu, Julian, Roger Crisp, and John Devine, “Oxford Debate: Performance enhancing drugs should be allowed in sport” University of Oxford, 2014.
  • Simon, Robert ” “Good competition and drug-enhanced performance,” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 11, 1984, pp 6-13.
  • Hemphill, “Performance enhancement and drug control in sport: ethical considerations,” Sport in Society, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2009, pp 313-326.

Unit: How should we balance fairness versus opportunity?

  • English, Jane. “Sex Equality in Sports” Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol 7, No 3, 1978, pp 269-277
  • Sailors, Pam. “Mixed Competition and Mixed Messages.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2014, pp 65–77.
  • Edwards, S.D. “Should Oscar Pistorius be excluded from the 2008 Olympic Games,” Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 2, No. 2: 112-125.
  • Burkett, Brendan; Mike McNamee & Wolfgang Potthast. “Shifting boundaries in sports technology and disability: equal rights or unfair advantage in the case of Oscar Pistorius?” Disability & Society 26, No. 5, 2011, pp 643-654.

Unit: What is the role of money in sport?

  • Duncan, Albert. “Does A-Rod Deserve So Much Money? Yes” Baseball and Philosophy. Ed. by Eric Bronson. Open Court: Chicago, 2004. pp 297-299.
  • Shuman, Joel. “Does A-Rod Deserve So Much Money? No,” Baseball and Philosophy. Ed. by Eric Bronson. Open Court: Chicago, 2004. pp 300-302.
  • Collins-Cavanaugh, Daniel. “Does the Salary Cap Make the NFL a Fairer League?” Football and Philosophy. Ed. Michael Austin. The University Press of Kentucky, 2008. pp 165-180.
  • Sheehan, Joe. “Salary Cap,” Baseball Prospectus. Feb. 19, 2002.

Unit: Is being a fan moral?

  • Dixon, Nicholas. “The Ethics of Supporting Sports Teams,” Journal of Applied Philosophy, 18, No. 2, 2001, pp 149-158.
  • Mumford, Stephen, “The Philosophy of Sports Fans,” PhilosophyFile, The University of Nottingham, 2011, video.
  • Aikin, Scott F., “Responsible Sports Spectatorship and the Problem of Fantasy Leagues” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 27, No. 2, 2013, pp 195-206.

 

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Video: Sports and Popular Culture Panel

If you were not able to attend the Sports and Popular Culture Panel, here’s the video.

Sports and Popular Culture; Faculty Panel Discussion from Arizona State University on Vimeo.

 

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ASU: Sports and Popular Culture Panel

Sports and Popular Culture FlyerWhat is the moral and philosophic value of sport?

Does sport provide, even in its competitive construction, an essential space for social cohesion in the modern world?

How does sport provide a means to explore the broader ideas and institutions in society?

Discussion about these questions and more at ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies Sports and Popular Culture Panel.

Moderated by Jason Bruner (School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies).

Panelists:

  • Terry Shoemaker (School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies)
  • Shawn Klein (School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies)
  • Victoria Jackson (School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies)
  • Lindsey Meân (School of Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • Luke Brenneman (Global Sports Institute)

Date/Time: November 16, 12 pm.
Location: SCOB 210 (620 E Orange St, Tempe, AZ 85281)

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New ASU Course: Philosophy of Sport

I’m excited to announce a new online course being offered in Session A of Spring 2018: PHI 394: Philosophy of Sport.

PhilSPortFlyerCourse Description:

An inquiry into philosophical ideas and issues in sport. Topics and readings will vary, but may include: the nature and definition of sport, the mind-body relationship in sport, the effects of technology on sport, epistemological issues in officiating, and the aesthetics of sport. Since our “Sports Ethics” course examines ethical issues in sport, this course will not deal with primarily ethical issues.

 Likely Topics:

  • The Nature and Definition of Sport:
    • Can we, should we, define sport?
    • How does sport relate to: play, games, art?
  • The Mind and Body in Sport:
    • What can we learn about the mind/body relationship from sport?
    • What does sport presupposed about mind and body?
    • What can we learn about epistemology and metaphysics through sport? Does sport presuppose particular theories about reality or knowledge?
  • Technology and Officiating
    • How does technology change the ways we understand and engage in sport?
    • What role should technology have in officiating sports?
    • How do referees, umpires, etc., relate to the rules? What parallels are there to how we might understand law?

This course counts an upper-division elective credit. Talk with your advisor if you are interested in taking this course.

 

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The Sum Less Than the Parts: A Review of The Ethics of Sport: Essential Readings

Idrottsform.org, Nordic Sport Science Forum, published my review of The Ethics of Sport: Essential Readings, edited by Arthur L. Caplan & Brendan Parent (Oxford University Press).

Here’s the opening of the review:

Most of the papers collected in The Ethics of Sport are interesting and informative. They provide insight into many different aspects of the study of sport and of sport itself, and they do so from different disciplinary perspectives.

Nevertheless, this collection as a whole is a disappointment.

Writing a critical, negative review is difficult. There are many things I liked about the book, and I tried to highlight these even as a point out the book’s many flaws.

You can read the rest of the review here: http://idrottsforum.org/klesha_caplan-parent170906/

 

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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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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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New Masters in Sports Ethics and Integrity

At the Penn State Sports Ethics conference, Mike McNamee mentioned a new Masters program that looks really exciting.

Bringing together scholars and experts from several European universities and international sporting federations, the degree says it will prepare students for careers in the administration and governance of sports organizations.

At the conference Mike discussed the need for sport organizations to have what he called “Sport Integrity Officers.” This degree sounds like a step towards creating that career and training the people to fill those positions.

Check out the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Sports Ethics and Integrity website for more information (including the possibility of scholarships).

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Defining Sport Published

I’m proud to announce the publication of my edited volume: Defining Sport: Conceptions and Borderlinesbf77d-coverdefiningsport

This is the first volume in Lexington Books’ Studies in the Philosophy of Sport series. [As editor of this series, I’d love to hear ideas for contributions to this series. Contact me with ideas.]

Part One examines several of the standard and influential approaches to defining sport. Part Two uses these approaches to examine various challenging borderline cases (e.g. bullfighting, skateboarding, esport, Crossfit). These chapters examine the interplay of the borderline cases with the definition and provide a more thorough and clearer understanding of the definition and the given cases.

See the full listing of chapters and contributors on my blog.

It is available from Lexington, Amazon, and other booksellers. There is also an ebook version.

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CFA: The 10th Anniversary Summit on Communication and Sport

The International Association for Communication and Sport (IACS) is hosting the 10th Summit on Communication and Sport. The Summit is scheduled for March 30 – April 2, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.

They recently sent out the Call for Abstracts for papers and panels. The deadline is October 14, 2016. Information on submission is at the IACS website.

For conference events inquiries, please contact Dr. Jeff Kassing (jkassing@asu.edu) or Dr. Lauren Smith (LS35@iu.edu)

For conference submission inquiries, please contact Dr. Lauren Smith

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