Is There a Normatively Distinctive Concept of Cheating in Sport (or anywhere else)?

Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 41 (3):303-323 (2014)

This paper argues that for the purposes of any sort of serious discussion about immoral conduct in sport very little is illuminated by claiming that the conduct in question is cheating. In fact, describing some behavior as cheating is typically little more than expressing strong, but thoroughly vague and imprecise, moral disapproval or condemnation of another person or institution about a wide and ill-defined range of improper advantage-seeking behavior. Such expressions of disapproval fail to distinguish cheating from many other types of immoral conduct. The discussion shows that we should set the concept aside and assess the moral disapproval implied by claims of cheating by reference to the moral and other principles that underlie the practice of sport. This allows us to consider carefully the complexity of the issues that are raised when allegations of cheating are made and not be distracted by the emotionally loaded, conversation-stopping tendency of the concept. This means that some types of disputes in sport will be messy and demand more effort to resolve, but the payoff will be better informed and more thoughtful discussions and greater awareness of the moral complexity of sport and of its principled underpinnings.
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DOI 10.1080/00948705.2013.832266
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References found in this work BETA

Morality: Its Nature and Justification.Bernard Gert - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Internalism and Internal Values in Sport.Robert L. Simon - 2000 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 27 (1):1-16.
Exploitation.Alan Wertheimer - 1996 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Games, Rules, and Practices.Yuval Eylon & Amir Horowitz - 2018 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 12 (3):241-254.
Did Armstrong Cheat?Moore Eric - 2017 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 11 (4):413-427.
Armstrong Was a Cheat: A Reply to Eric Moore.Jon Pike & Sean Cordell - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-17.
Cheating as Wrongful Competitive Norm Violating.Sinclair A. MacRae - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (3):339-354.

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