Philosophy on steroids: A reply

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (6):401-410 (2010)
Abstract
Brent Kious has recently attacked several arguments generally adduced to support anti-doping in sports, which are widely supported by the sports medicine fraternity, international sports federations, and international governments. We show that his attack does not succeed for a variety of reasons. First, it uses an overly inclusive definition of doping at odds with the WADA definition, which has global, if somewhat contentious, currency. Second, it seriously misconstrues the position it attacks, rendering the attack without force against a more balanced construal of an anti-doping position. Third, it makes unwarranted appeals to matters Kious considers morally ‘clear’, while simultaneously attacking a position many others take to be equally morally ‘clear’, namely that of anti-doping. Such an inconsistency, attacking and appealing to the moral status quo as befits one’s argument, is not acceptable without further qualification. Fourth, his position suffers from a general methodological flaw of over-reliance upon argumentation by analogy. Moreover, it is argued that the analogies, being poorly selected and developed, fail to justify his conclusion that the anti-doping lobby lacks philosophical and moral authority for its stance. These issues are symptomatic of a more fundamental problem: any attempt at providing a blanket solution to the question of whether doping is morally acceptable or not is bound to run up against problems when applied to highly specific contexts. Thus, rather than reaching any particular conclusion for or against doping products or processes in this article, we conclude that an increased context-sensitivity will result in a more evenhanded appraisal of arguments on the matter
Keywords Sports ethics  Doping  Moral methodology  Sports  Performance enhancement
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References found in this work BETA
Mike McNamee (2009). Beyond Consent? Paternalism and Pediatric Doping. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 36 (2):111-126.
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