About this topic
Summary Sport is a relatively new subject of systematic philosophical enquiry. The philosophy of sport as an academic sub-field dates back only to the 1970s. In the intervening half century, the field has developed a burgeoning literature that spans the continental and analytical traditions. Metaphysical, epistemological, aesthetic, and especially ethical questions have provided the primary focus of research. Philosophers have attempted to shed new light on sport by analysing sporting phenomena with existing philosophical theories and methods, and they have also sought to demonstrate that sport raises distinctive questions that have wider philosophical significance beyond sport.
Key works D'Agostino 1981: Fred D'Agostino, "The Ethos of Games."English 1978: Jane English, "Sex Equality in Sport." Fraleigh 1984: Warren Fraleigh, Right Actions in Sport: Ethics for Contestants.Keating 1964: James W. Keating, "Sportmanship as a Moral Category." Kretchmar 1975: R. Scott Kretchmar, "From Test to Contest: An Analysis of Two Kinds of Counterpoint in Sport." Loland 2001: Sigmund Loland, Fair Play in Sport. A Moral Norm System. Morgan 2012: William J. Morgan, "Broad Internalism, Deep Conventions, Moral Entrepreneurs, and Sport." Russell 1999: John S. Russell, "Are Rules All an Umpire Has to Work With?" Simon et al 2015: Robert L. Simon, Cesar R. Torres, and Peter F. Hager, "Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport." Suits & Hurka 1978: Bernard Suits, The Grasshopper: Games, Life, and Utopia.Suits 1988: Bernard Suits, "Tricky Triad: Games, Play, and Sport." Young 1979: Iris Marion Young, "The Exclusion of Women from Sport: Conceptual and Existential Dimensions."
Introductions Devine & Lopez Frias 2020: John William Devine and Francisco Javier Lopez Frias, "Philosophy of Sport."Feezell 2016: Randolph Feezell, Playing Games: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport through Dialogue. McNamee & Morgan 2015: Mike McNamee and William J. Morgan, Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Sport. Morgan 2017: William J. Morgan, Ethics in Sport. Third Edition. Reid 2012: Heather Reid, Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport.  Ryall 2016: Emily Ryall, Philosophy of Sport. Key Questions.  Torres 2016: Cesar R. Torres, The Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Sport. 
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  1. An introduction to the ethical and social problems of bodybuilding: a philosophical analysis from Science, Technology and Society studies (STS).Santiago Cobo Martínez - manuscript
    since the 20th century bodybuilding has been an object of study that interests and challenges researchers in the sociology of sport (see Conquet, 2014 - Tajrobehkar, 2016 - Wellman, 2020) and, recently, in the philosophy of sport (see Aranyosi, 2017 - Madej, 2021 - Worthen, 2016). However, many of its problems are little known in the orthodox philosophical literature. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to contribute from STS studies to the posing and discussion of the central ethical and (...)
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  2. What is a consolation goal? Analysis of language in a football match report of England versus Iran.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This brief paper reviews language and presentation in a match report by Oliver Yew, senior football journalist for Sky Sports. I praise the bullet point summary, I note inconsistency in tenses used, and I ask after the definition of a consolation goal, presenting my own understanding.
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  3. Stoic Lessons in Liberation: Epictetus as Educator.William O. Stephens - manuscript
    My project examines the pedagogical approach of the Stoic Epictetus by focusing on seven vital lessons he imparts. This study will deepen our understanding of his vocation as a Stoic educator striving to free his students from the fears and foolishness that hold happiness hostage. These lessons are (1) how freedom, integrity, self-respect, and happiness interrelate; (2) real versus fake tragedy and real versus fake heroism; (3) the instructive roles that various animals play in Stoic education; (4) athleticism, sport, and (...)
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  4. Get the last laugh: On the humourist as a developmental ideal in invasion games.Kenneth Aggerholm - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy.
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  5. Reframing the Debate over Performance-Enhancing Drugs: The Reasonable Athlete Argument.Matthew C. Altman - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-14.
    Governing bodies such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) make decisions about which drugs to prohibit athletes from using and the dosage...
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  6. Sport Structured Brain Trauma is Child Abuse.Eric Anderson, Gary Turner, Jack Hardwicke & Keith D. Parry - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-21.
    This article first summarizes research regarding the relationship between sports that intentionally structure multiple types of brain trauma into their practice, such as rugby and boxing, and the range of negative health outcomes that flow from participation in such sports. The resultant brain injuries are described as ‘now’ and ‘later’ diseases, being those that affect the child immediately and then across their lifetime. After highlighting how these sports can permanently injure children, it examines this harm in relation to existing British (...)
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  7. USC Football Notebook: Robey, McDonald Secondary Stalwarts.White House Confirms Cyber Attack - forthcoming - Hermes.
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  8. Desire, Drive and the Melancholy of English Football: 'It's (not) Coming Home'.Jack Black - forthcoming - In Will Roberts, Stuart Whigham, Alex Calvin & Daniel Parnell (eds.), Critical Issues in Football: A Sociological Analysis of the Beautiful Game. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 53--65.
    In 2021, the men’s English national football team reached their first final at a major international tournament since winning the World Cup in 1966. This success followed their previous achievement of reaching the semi-finals (knocked-out by Croatia) at the 2018 World Cup. True to form, the defeats proved unfalteringly English; with the 2021 final echoing previous tournament defeats, as England lost to Italy on penalties. However, what resonated with the predictability of an English defeat, was the accompanying chant, ‘it’s coming (...)
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  9. Reflections on Muddy Waters, Marijuana, and Moving Goalposts: Against 'Returning' Reggie Bush's Heisman.S. Seth Bordner (ed.) - forthcoming
    When the NCAA adopted new rules allowing athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL), few people took more interest than Reggie Bush who famously relinquished the Heisman trophy after being ruled retroactively ineligible for receiving "impermissible benefits." Bush has argued for his reinstatement and the "return" of his Heisman. In this paper, I argue that, while the NCAA never should have required players to be amateurs in the first place, Bush should not be reinstated or have the (...)
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  10. The role of risk in nature sports.Gunnar Breivik - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport.
    In this article, I will examine the role of risk in the risky nature sports. Risky nature sports are identified as nature sports where participants may reckon with the possibility of severe injury or death if things go wrong. The first part of the article identifies some evolutionary, historical, and conceptual characteristics of nature sports and risk. In the second part of the article, I discuss the concept of risk and its meaning in risky nature sports. Additionally, I address questions (...)
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  11. Ontology and interdisciplinary research in esports.Tom Brock - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-17.
    Research into esports is proliferating (Bányai et al. 2019; Pizzo et al. 2022; Reitman et al. 2020) and now covers a variety of academic disciplines, including business and management (Scholz 2019)...
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  12. Hunting and humanity in western thought.Matt Cartmill - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  13. Understanding Steroid Use – Review and Discussion of ‘Gym Culture, Identity and Performance-Enhancing Drugs’.Ask Vest Christiansen, April Henning, Francisco Javier Lopez Frias & John M. Hoberman - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-21.
    This is a review and discussion of Ask Vest Christiansen’s book Gym Culture, Identity and Performance-Enhancing Drugs: Tracing a Typology of Steroid Use. As indicated by the title, the book...
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  14. Will to power: Revaluating (female) empowerment in ‘fitspiration’.Aurélien Daudi - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-17.
    Female empowerment has long been a prominent social concern in Western culture. With the rise of social media, the quest for female empowerment has become embodied in self-presentational practices, occurring conspicuously throughout the Instagram fitness subculture: ‘fitspiration’. Here, female empowerment is merged with the body-centrality inherent to fitness, and the self-sexualization that has become characteristic of both photo-based social media in general, and fitspiration in particular. Meanwhile, an extensive body of research highlights numerous detrimental effects of self-sexualization on women. Evidently, (...)
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  15. ‘Ecce Ego’: Apollo, Dionysus, and Performative Social Media.Aurélien Daudi - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-18.
    Epitomized in the bodily exhibitions of ‘fitspiration’, photo-based social media is biased toward self-beautification and glorification of reality. Meanwhile, evidence is growing of psychological side effects connected to this ‘pictorial turn’ in our communication. In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche poses the question how ugliness and discord can produce aesthetic pleasure. This paper proceeds from an inverse relationship and examines why glorification of appearances and conspicuous beauty fails to do the same, and even compounds suffering. Drawing on the Apollo-Dionysus dualism (...)
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  16. Intersex and Sports: Back to the Same Old Game.Alice Dreger - forthcoming - Bioethics Forum.
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  17. Sport as a political football: understanding the collision of sport and politics.Sam Duncan - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-16.
    While the sport-politics nexus is not new, there is little doubt that the collision of sport and politics has become more frequent, more complex, and in many instances, more intense. This paper draws on the theory and historical observations of Johan Huizinga and Norbert Elias to provide a theoretical lens through which we can understand the interplay between sport and politics. Furthermore, the Huizinga-Elias theoretical framework allows us to examine the role of sporting organisations in political and social conflicts, and (...)
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  18. Sex, Gender, and Racial (In) Justice in Sport: The Treatment of South African Track Star Caster Semenya.Shari L. Dworkin, Amanda Lock Swarr & Cheryl Cooky - forthcoming - Feminist Studies.
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  19. The We-Perspective on the Racing Sailboat.Frances Egan - forthcoming - In Roberto Casati (ed.), The Sailing Mind. Springer.
    Successful sports teams are able to adopt what is known as the 'we-perspective,' forming intentions and making decisions, somewhat as a unified mind does, to achieve their goals. In this paper I consider what is involved in establishing and maintaining the we-perspective on a racing sailboat. I argue that maintaining the we-perspective contributes to the success of the boat in at least two ways: (1) it facilitates the smooth execution of joint action; and (2) it increases the chance that individual (...)
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  20. L'âge de l'héroïsme. Sport, entreprise et esprit de conquête dans la France contemporaine.Alain Ehrenberg - forthcoming - Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie.
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  21. Heidegger and the possibilities of ‘Authenticity’ in Sports participation.Neslihan Filiz - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-16.
    In this article, I will look into the possibilities of ‘authenticity’ in sports participation, based on the discussions of previous papers published on the topic and suggest some new ideas. For the...
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  22. Bourdieu’s Field Theory Revisited: A Case for ‘National Signification’.Torgeir Fjeld - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-19.
    This essay investigates whether the term national signification may serve better than the more common national identity to describe how sports people variously enrol and reference the nation to position themselves and their practice. Taking the social theory of Pierre Bourdieu as a ground for analysis, this essay investigates four cases involving elite athletes from Norway to situate them within the field of sports culture and the larger fields of power and class relations. For Bourdieu actors’ ‘practical sense’ mediated between (...)
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  23. Sport, science and the problems of 'race'.Scott Fleming - forthcoming - Paideia.
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  24. Embodied Experience, Embodied Advantage, and the Inclusion of Transgender Athletes in Competitive Sport: Expanded Framework, Criticisms, and Policy Recommendations.Francisco Javier Lopez Frias & Cesar R. Torres - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-21.
    One of the most pressing and debated issues in contemporary sport is the inclusion of transgender athletes in competition. This is especially the case of transgender women who seek to compete in th...
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  25. Book Symposium on Return of the Grasshopper: Games, Leisure and the Good Life in the Third Millennium.Francisco Javier López Frías & Christopher C. Yorke - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-36.
    Bernard Suits’ groundbreaking work, The Grasshopper: Games, Life, and Utopia, has profoundly shaped the philosophy of sport. Its sequel, Return of the Grasshopper: Games, Leisure, and the Good Life in the Third Millennium, released in October 2022, enriches scholarly understandings of Suits’ views on games, emphasizing the normative aspects of gameplay and its impact on people’s pursuit of the good life. In this book symposium, world-leading Suits scholars analyze the Suitsian conception of gameplay and its relevance to his views on (...)
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  26. Hermann Schmitz and the ”New Phenomenology of sports”. A programmatic outline.Robert Gugutzer - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-22.
    Phenomenology has long been one of the basic theoretical and methodological approaches in sports philosophy. Among the many varieties of philosophical phenomenology, phenomenological sports research mainly uses the approaches of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Another phenomenological author who has so far remained almost completely unknown to international sports philosophy is German philosopher Hermann Schmitz (1928–2021). Schmitz named his phenomenological approach “New Phenomenology” since he had broken with some basic assumptions of ‘old’ phenomenology (e.g. neither construing his phenomenology (...)
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  27. CST 101-3 6 February 2012 Ethics Essay.Cristina Hahnlein - forthcoming - Ethics.
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  28. Significance of the nazi leisure time program.Ernest Hamburger - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  29. Phenomenology and pedagogy in physical education.Alimin Hamzah, Wawan Sundawan Suherman, Ali Satia Graha & Muhammad Zulfikar - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-4.
    Studies on phenomenology and pedagogy in the context of physical education in schools are lacking in the literature, and often approaches are dominated by pragmatism. As such, Phenomenology and Ped...
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  30. "Steve you must be pig sick!" Streamed Video Interactions between Premier League Managers and Sports Journalists as Semi-scripted Performances.Dermot Brendan Heaney - forthcoming - Hermes.
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  31. What is a Metagame?Michael Hemmingsen - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-16.
    The concept of metagames can be of use to philosophers of sport and games. However, the term “metagame” is used throughout the literature in several different, distinct senses, few of which are clearly defined, and as a result there remains ambiguity about what, precisely, this term means. In this paper, I attempt to disambiguate the term metagame. I have come across at least four different senses of “metagame” in academic literature about games. Of these four senses, most relevant to philosophers (...)
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  32. A philosophical look at running friendships.Douglas Hochstetler - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-14.
    Friendship constitutes an integral part of human flourishing. Aristotle (1996) famously wrote, ‘For no one would choose to live without friends, but possessing all other good things’ (p. 205). Members of our respective practice communities (MacIntyre, 1984) understand and appreciate our passion for running or basketball, tennis or cycling. The friends we develop through sport, and herein I focus on running, have the potential to help us cultivate human flourishing in the Aristotelian sense. Highlighting this point, Austin (2007) writes that (...)
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  33. Sport in an Algorithmic Age: Michel Serres on Bodily Metamorphosis.Aldo Houterman - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-16.
    The algorithm has become an increasingly important concept in understanding human behavior in recent years. In the case of sport, human bodies are seen as superficial to the driving force of the algorithm, whether it be genetic, behavioral or surveillance-technological algorithms (Harari Citation2015, 2020; Zuboff Citation2019). However, the French mathematician and philosopher Michel Serres (1930–2019) structurally relate algorithms to sports and bodily experience at multiple places in his oeuvre. According to Serres, sport actually enables us to reprogram and rewrite our (...)
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  34. On not being alone in lonely places: preferences, goods, and aesthetic-ethical conflict in nature sports.Leslie A. Howe - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport.
    Ethical questions normally arise in sport because its participants are human moral agents and because its practice community entails the observance of rules and responsibilities that humans generally owe one another in a social practice of voluntary competition. Since nature sports are not defined by this kind of inter-agential activity, it would appear that there are no comparable ethical constraints on their pursuit. This paper considers conflicts of preference versus right between humans, how these are resolved, and whether these rights (...)
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  35. Surfing and the philosophy of sport.Moira Howes - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-6.
    Daniel Brennan brings his research in political philosophy and his surfing experience together in this excellent and engaging contribution to philosophy of surfing and surf studies. In the course o...
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  36. Freeride skiing – the values of freedom and creativity.Jusa Impiö & Jim Parry - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-17.
    Freeride skiing is the fastest-growing sector of the skiing industry, but there are no studies analyzing its nature and values. First, we provide descriptions of freeride skiing and competitive freeride skiing, trying to analyzing the nature of these activities in comparison and contrast with conceptions of traditional sport and nature sport. Whilst freeride skiing must be seen in some sense as a nature sport, competitive freeride skiing is best seen within the category of traditional sport. However, these ‘new’ sports raise (...)
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  37. On the Eighth Day: A Catholic Theology of Sport.Ivo Jirásek - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-5.
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  38. ‘The hand of God’: hierophany and transcendence through sport.Ivo Jirásek - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport.
    The designation of Diego Maradona’s ‘handball’ goal, that it was an intervention by God himself, brings the phenomena of sport and religion into an interrelationship. The basic thesis of this paper is that, despite many of their phenomenal similarities, explicit religion is not, and cannot be, substantially related to sport, as the two manifest themselves in different ways of being. This thesis is supported by arguments from three philosophical areas: 1. The ontological dimension of the manifestation of the sacred in (...)
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  39. ‘I can’t outrun a bear, but I can outrun you:’ sport contests, nature challenge activities and outdoor recreation.Brian Komyathy - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-15.
    The old adage has two people out hiking who run into a bear. One starts running while the other asks ‘why are you running? You can’t outrun a bear’. To which the other responds, ‘I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you’. Hiking/trekking is not typically a competitive endeavor characterized by contests but, like many endeavors/pursuits/activities, competition can be injected into it; thereby sportifying it. Swimming is a sport (under certain conditions). At the same time, (...)
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  40. Anschlag auf Olympia. Was 1972 in München wirklich geschah.Jacob Kornbeck - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-6.
    The legacy of the massacre which intervened during the XX Olympic Summer Games in Munich (26 August to 11 September 1972) is a heavy burden for Munich, Bavaria and Germany and one which continues b...
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  41. A defence of tanking in sports.L. A. Landgraf - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport.
    The sports world has historically rejected the practice of tanking. I argue that this attitude is unwarranted. To do so, I introduce a concept called strategic suboptimal play (SSP), which is the practice of incurring the risk of a short-term competitive disadvantage to increase the chances of gaining a longer-term competitive advantage. Tanking is just an instance of SSP employed in higher-order games, i.e. games that are at least partially played by other games, like tournaments or seasons. Since SSP is (...)
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  42. Dancing in Movements, Movements in Sports: a Comparative Approach Toward a Metaphysical Realist Ontology.Arturo Leyva - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-22.
    Ontological approaches to the arts have neglected art forms such as dance. This hinders analysis of the metaphysical similarities and differences between different art forms. In this paper, I develop a metaphysical realist ontological approach to dance and sport that is grounded in embodiment. I first examine the debate between descriptivism and metaontological realism in the philosophy of arts in the context of Thomasson’s descriptive approach and Dodd’s metaontological approach of folk-theoretic modesty. Following Dodd, I adopt a realist metaontological approach (...)
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  43. At Odds? Sports, Gambling and Hyper-Commodification.Ned Lis-Clarke & Adrian Walsh - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-19.
    Sports betting is a booming business. While gambling and elite sports have long been closely related—with examples dating back to the Roman Empire (Evans and Mcnamee 2021)—changes in technology and...
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  44. Testimonial Injustice in Sports.Federico Luzzi - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-16.
    Epistemic injustice is a widely discussed phenomenon in many sub-disciplines (including epistemology, ethics, feminist philosophy, social and political philosophy). Yet, there is very little literature on its connection to the philosophy of sports. Here I explore the intersection between epistemic injustice and sports, focusing on testimonial injustice. I argue that there exist clear-cut cases of testimonial injustice in sport that arise when athletes attempt to communicate information. After highlighting the theoretical connections between various cases, I explore the more ambitious claim (...)
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  45. Why the rules do not prohibit cheating in sports.Sinclair A. MacRae - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-14.
    The idea that cheaters cannot (really) win in sports persists among philosophers, mainly due to the lingering influence of Bernard Suits’ logical incompatibility thesis. In this article I explain why the thesis does not apply to sports. I argue that the question whether cheating can be prohibited in sports is empirical rather than analytic, as is the case for games subject to the thesis. Thus, sports rules do not make cheating impossible and since game officials cannot always detect cheating and (...)
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  46. Why Carlos Ramos was in compliance with his duty and USTA and WTA are wrong in the case of US Open 2018 women’s final.Jiri Malis & Tomas Michalica - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-16.
    The aim of the article is to point out the problem that started in the 2018 US Open final between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams. During this final match, there was a conflict between the player S. Williams and the chair umpire C. Ramos, which involved a violation of rules related to coaching during the match. Subsequently, C. Ramos was banned from officiating the Williams sisters' matches at the next 2019 US Open. The authors of the article believe that the (...)
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  47. Relationscapes: Movement, Art.Erin Manning - forthcoming - Philosophy.
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  48. Sport Realism: A Law-Inspired Theory of Sport Sport Realism: A Law-Inspired Theory of Sport, by Aaron Harper, Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, 2022, 182 pp., $95 (hardcover), ISBN: 9781666920086. [REVIEW]Sandra M. Meeuwsen - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport.
    In Sport Realism: A Law-Inspired Theory of Sport, Aaron Harper, Associate Professor of Philosophy at West Liberty University, introduces a new realist approach to conceptualize sport. The book is d...
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  49. Sport Realism: A Law-Inspired Theory of Sport.Sandra M. Meeuwsen - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-5.
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  50. Anti-Doping Policy, Health, and Harm.Jo Morrison - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-14.
    The anti-doping policies of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) aim to promote a level playing field and protect the health of the athlete. Anti-doping policy discourages research using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) or methods and prohibits athlete support personnel, including healthcare providers, from providing advice, assistance, or aid to an athlete or others seeking to use, or using PEDs until harm has occurred. Athletes are individually responsible for the presence of a prohibited substance in their bodies and face sanction regardless (...)
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