Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 13 (3-4):293-306 (2018)

Lukas Schwengerer
University of Duisburg-Essen
In 'The Grasshopper' Suits proposes that ‘playing a game’ can be captured as an attempt to achieve a specific state of affairs (prelusory goal), using only means permitted by rules (lusory means). These rules prohibit more efficient means, and are accepted because they make the activity possible (lusory attitude). I argue these conditions are not jointly sufficient. The starting point for the argument is the idea that goals, means and attitudes can pick out their content in different ways. They can involve a direct reference (‘crossing this specific finish line’), or a description that picks out something (‘crossing a line on the track after running 100 m’). I provide cases in which one’s attitudes, accepted goals or accepted means pick out their content by a description such that the person does not play a game, even if Suits’s conditions are satisfied. I show that this demands an epistemic condition for playing a game that also applies to commitment based accounts. Finally, I discuss what such an epistemic condition could be. I argue that the condition does not require personal knowledge of all goals and means, but merely enough epistemic access that the goal and permissible means can guide one’s behavior safely enough. This might be satisfied by social extensions, such as access to tools (e.g. a rulebook) or other people (e.g. referees).
Keywords Games  Playing a game  Bernard Suits
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1080/17511321.2018.1515977
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Anti-Luck Virtue Epistemology.Duncan Pritchard - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (3):247-279.

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