PHI 370 Sports Ethics

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. Prerequisite(s): ENG 102, 105, or 108 with C or better; minimum 25 hours; Credit is allowed for only PHI 370 or PHI 394 (Sports Ethics)

Almost all the readings in the course are drawn from the philosophy of sport literature: articles published in The Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, Sports, Ethics, and Philosophy, and other leading philosophy journals.

Each semester is a little different, but generally we start with a discussion of what sport is and why it is worth studying. The following is a listing of the kind of questions/topics the courses often addresses (but not always!):

  • What is Sportsmanship?
  • Is it ethical to run up the score or to pursue wide-margin victories?
  • Is it wrong to foul strategically?
  • Is gamesmanship wrong?
  • Is competition moral?
  • Are playoffs the best or a  fair way to determine champions?
  • Should fighting in sport by allowed? Are fighting sports justifiable?
  • Can playing dangerous sports be justified?
  • Should performance-enhancing drugs be banned?
  • How should sport deal with sex and gender equality?
  • Is being a fan moral?

For current ASU offerings:

This course is one of the core courses for ASU’s Sports, Cultures and Ethics certificate.