Off Belay! The Morality of Free-soloing

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 13 (1):62-77 (2017)
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In this paper, we use qualitative and quantitative research, along with reference to current philosophical literature to consider the question of whether the sport of free-soloing is inherently immoral given the unavoidable extreme risk taken by the climber and imposed upon others not directly participating in the sport. The first thing we look at is what kind of values climbers see in free-soloing and show, through interviews we conducted with soloers and through a review of the literature on the philosophy of extreme sports, that climbers derive what might be called ‘higher pleasures’ from free-soloing. We then argue that despite its inherent riskiness, free-soloers ought to be allowed the autonomy and freedom to choose to engage in the sport, provided they are doing so in a conscientious manner. To show that they are, we again appeal to interviews we conducted to demonstrate that soloers decide to attempt a free-solo in a thoughtful manner, as prescribed by philosophers who work on the morality...



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The Value of Dangerous Sport.J. S. Russell - 2005 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 32 (1):1-19.
Nature and risk in adventure sports.Kevin Krein - 2007 - In M. J. McNamee (ed.), Philosophy, Risk, and Adventure Sports. London ;Routledge. pp. 80.
The Moral Controversy Over Boxing Reform.C. D. Herrera - 2002 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 29 (2):163-173.
II—Ethics of Risk.J. E. J. Altham - 1984 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 84 (1):15-30.

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