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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. The Implications of a Communal Ethic for Enhancements.Thaddeus Metz - manuscript
    According to a normative-theoretic interpretation of the African moral-political tradition that I have advanced, an agent is at bottom obligated to respect individuals in virtue of their ability to be party to communal (or harmonious) relationships. In practice that means that a moral agent is typically obligated to relate communally with innocents, that is, to share a way of life with them and to care for their quality of life. I have argued that this relational principle of right action provides (...)
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  4. 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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  5. Normative Pluralism and Sporting Integrity.Cem Abanazir - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-18.
    Official documents, such as the Word Anti-Doping Code (WADC), argue that sport can be deemed a homogenous and unitary concept. Even where different sports have varying characteristics, the homogenous view of a given sport (‘a sport’ or ‘the sport’) persists. The WADC, international and national sport associations aim to protect the spirit of (the) sport. In this picture, the intersection of sporting integrity and legal processes occupies a vital place. The article will posit that, from a legal perspective sport is (...)
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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Suits and “game-playing”: formalism and subjectivism revisited. A critique.Paulo Antunes - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-15.
    In his work, Bernard Suits presents and pursues a stated objective: to define ‘game’ or, more precisely, ‘game-playing’. In The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia, the author seeks a definition not as a ‘commitment to the universal fruitfulness of definition construction’, but rather with the idea ‘that some things are definable, and some are not’. This is something he believed could resolve many of the issues surrounding the debate on ‘game’ and ‘play’, such as those with Huizinga (in Homo Ludens) (...)
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  10. USC Football Notebook: Robey, McDonald Secondary Stalwarts.White House Confirms Cyber Attack - forthcoming - Hermes.
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  11. The Fetishization of Sport: Exploring the Effects of Fetishistic Disavowal in Sportswashing.Jack Black, Colm Kearns & Gary Sinclair - forthcoming - Journal of Sport and Social Issues.
    Is it possible to remain a sports fan when prominent sports teams and events are utilized to “sportswash” human rights abuses and other controversies? Indeed, while there is an abundance of analyses critiquing different instances of sportswashing, the exploration of the role of sportswashing and its connection to the “sports fan” presents an essential and necessary area of investigation and theoretical inquiry. To unpick this dilemma, this article proposes the concept of “fetishistic disavowal” to help theorize the impact of sportswashing, (...)
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. Hunting and humanity in western thought.Matt Cartmill - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  15. 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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  16. NFL’s dangerous strategies of marketing football to youth: shades of big tobacco.Asher Clissold & Kathleen Bachynski - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-18.
    Comparisons have been made between the tobacco industry’s historic tactics in defending their products with the responses of some key actors in the sports world to head injuries. Both, it is said, have deployed deceptive marketing and advertising techniques to entice youth to engage with a subjective pleasure-producing product that has undeniable short- and long-term health detriments. Unlike what is called euphemistically, ‘Big Tobacco’, however, the National Football League (NFL) has evaded legal restrictions on the promotion of an inherently dangerous (...)
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  17. Obituary: Professor Graham McFee 22nd February 1951 – 10th October 2023.Leon Culbertson - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-3.
    Some people are, as it were, too big for their obituaries, and so it is with Graham McFee, who died on 10th October 2023. There is a great deal that should be said here about his life, work and ach...
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  18. ‘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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  19. Embodied wisdom: philosophical reflections on boxing as a formative educational practice.Renato De Donato - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-16.
    The purpose of this article is to explore the intersection between the ancient philosophical concept of àskēsis and contemporary boxing discipline, investigating boxing’s potential as an educational tool for cultivating ethics, personality, and virtues. Drawing on Hadot and Foucault’s theories, the study analyzes the ethopoietic purposes of Stoic spiritual exercises and technologies of the self, examining their relevance to modern boxing practices. By scrutinizing the cultural practices of boxing, the article elucidates how they can judiciously be employed to foster ethical (...)
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  20. Entrevista a Carlos Reymer. Instructor de taekwondo.Jesús Miguel Delgado Del Aguila - forthcoming - Lecturas: Educación Física y Deportes.
  21. El taekwondo y la gimnasia artística: dos deportes que buscan el efecto sorpresivo. Entrevista a Diego Torrealva.Jesús Miguel Delgado Del Aguila - forthcoming - Difusiones.
  22. Intersex and Sports: Back to the Same Old Game.Alice Dreger - forthcoming - Bioethics Forum.
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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. The Contest Paradox.Yuval Eylon - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-16.
    The paper introduces the “Contest Paradox”: on the one hand, rational competitors employ the most effective means to achieve the constitutive end of games - winning; On the other hand, apparently rational competitors often employ means that are sub-optimal for winning, e.g., playing beautifully or fairly. Nevertheless, the actions of such competitors are viewed as rational. Are such competitors rational? I reject the possibility of resolving the paradox by appealing to additional ends or norms to winning, such as playing sportingly. (...)
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  27. 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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  28. Sport, science and the problems of 'race'.Scott Fleming - forthcoming - Paideia.
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  29. Concussion and brain injuries in sport: conceptual, ethical and legal perspectives.Francisco Javier López Frías & Mike McNamee - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-8.
    This special issue examines critical ethical, legal, and policy debates surrounding brain trauma in sport, focusing on challenges in concussion management practices and protocols. Brain injury concerns extend beyond traditional contact sports like boxing, encompassing sporting activities involving rapid acceleration, deceleration, and surface impacts, such as cycling and equestrian sports. Among such problems are the identification and management of brain injuries, the roles of officials and healthcare professionals, and the broader implications for sport integrity and athlete careers. The special issue (...)
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  30. Autonomy, relationality, and brain-injured athletes: a critical examination of the Concussion in Sport Group’s Consensus Statements between 2001 and 2023.Francisco Javier Lopez Frias & Mike McNamee - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-21.
    This article critically examines the development and consensus outputs of the Concussion in Sport Group. We examine the six Consensus Statements between 2001 and 2023 to explore the challenges that the presence of contextual forces pose to the development of effective and ethically justifiable medical guidelines to manage situations involving brain-injured athletes. First, we discuss the implicit and explicit ethical framework and goals underlining the statements. Secondly, drawing on a relational account of athlete choice, we expound on the limitations of (...)
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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. Strength as phenomenon: a pure phenomenology of sport.Robert Gugutzer - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-20.
    Strength is a central element of sport and therefore an equally central topic in sports science. In sports science, strength is dealt with primarily in biomechanics. Biomechanics reduces strength – legitimately – to a scientific subject. As a result, it loses sight of strength as a lifeworld phenomenon. The discipline that allows us to grasp strength as an everyday experience is phenomenology. This essay undertakes a phenomenological analysis of strength to uncover the diversity of strength phenomena in the lifeworld of (...)
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  35. CST 101-3 6 February 2012 Ethics Essay.Cristina Hahnlein - forthcoming - Ethics.
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  36. Significance of the nazi leisure time program.Ernest Hamburger - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  37. "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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. Ethical discourses for and against doping in sport philosophy.Douglas Hochstetler, G. Fletcher Linder & Jason Ball - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-24.
    Sport doping is not a recent phenomenon. Athletes have used many forms of performance enhancements going back to antiquity. Within the sport philosophy literature, sport doping is entangled in a multitude of ethical discourses, some denouncing, and some supporting, doping in sport. Our aim is to use a systematic approach to classify ethical discourses put forward by scholars focused on doping. To take stock of these ethical discourses, and to advance the sport philosophy literature on doping, this paper provides an (...)
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  41. The responsibility of sports federations to facilitate and fund concussion research and the role of active participant involvement and engagement.Søren Holm - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-11.
    It is generally accepted that we need more research into concussions and other injuries with potential long-term effects in sport because such research underpins effective, evidence-based prevention, management, support, and treatment. This paper provides an analysis of the obligations of sports federations to support and facilitate such research, as well as an analysis of the role active participants in the sport should have in the research process. The paper focuses on concussion and concussion research, though very similar arguments apply to (...)
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  42. Judging athletic movement in moving images: a critique of agonic reason in representations of alpine sport, seen through the Paltrow v. Sanderson ski crash trial.Kalle Jonasson & Jonnie Eriksson - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-17.
    This paper concerns the judgement and critique of athletic movement in moving images. Inspired by the ski crash trial case of Paltrow v. Sanderson, and by comparing different media representations of downhill skiing, the essay outlines a framework that discerns as well as connects elements of movement and images, developing the concept of the ‘diorama’ in relation to Deleuze’s notion of the diagram and Kant’s idea of critique. Thus, moving images featuring elite alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, fictional character James Bond, (...)
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  43. Defending technology: a normative defence of technologically assisted officiating in binary referee situations.Torben Kjærsgaard - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-13.
    This article discusses how technological official aids influence sporting competitions in terms of fairness and flow. It addresses the main arguments against technological official aids used to assist refereeing in binary referee situations. First, I argue that the criticism directed at the use of ball tracking devices (‘reconstructed track devices’) is mainly unjustified and that these devices provide the opportunity to make refereeing in certain types of sport fairer. In this regard, I also argue that empirical findings about referees’ decision-making (...)
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  44. Concussion management in pediatric patients – ethical concerns.Taryn Knox, Alexander Gilbert & Lynley Anderson - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-15.
    Collision sports pose a high risk of concussion. How to respond to this risk is more ethically complex when considering children and adolescents due to a) incomplete evidence regarding the impact of concussion on developing brains, b) physiological and social vulnerability, and c) the young person’s reliance on proxy decision-makers, usually parents. There is also a lack of clear definitions of (a) collision sport (vs. contact sport) and (b) what constitutes a child or adolescent. We consider whether parents should be (...)
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  45. 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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  46. Athletes as workers.Preston Lennon - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-20.
    I argue that there are a number of ethical issues facing college and professional athletes that admit of a unified treatment: viewing athletes as workers. By worker, I mean an agent who sells their labor for compensation. With this notion of worker in place, I present and discuss arguments for four claims: not paying college athletes is morally wrong; that the N.C.A.A. infringes on the right of college athletes to collectively bargain; that it is prima facie wrong to draft and (...)
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  47. 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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  48. Sport-related concussion (SCR) prevention and the nature of sport: possibilities and limitations.Sigmund Loland - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-10.
    Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that can result from a blow to the head or a jolt to the body. Athletes in many sports are exposed to concussion risks. There is a growing concern in sport and society about sport-related concussions (SRC) and an increasing awareness of the importance of proper diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. A traditional, reactive approach emphasizes sound protocols in cases of suspected SRC. A proactive approach involves identifying various causes of SRC and implementing preventive measures. For (...)
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  49. Uses and abuses of the concept of race in genomics of sport performance and sport-related traumatic brain injury: epistemological and ethical considerations.Ludovica Lorusso & Silvia Camporesi - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-15.
    In this article, we tackle the epistemological and ethical issues related to the use of race concepts in the genomics of sport performance and sport-related concussion (SRC). In the first part of the article, we show how the concept of race is ubiquitous in scientific literature, besides the fact that ‘race’ as other analogous population descriptors like ‘ancestry’ and ‘continent’ carry ancestral genetic heterogeneity and therefore they cannot be used to infer any kind of genetic or physiological property. Then, we (...)
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  50. 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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