Sporting Integrity, Coherence, and Being True to the Spirit of a Game

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 13 (2):227-236 (2018)
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The term ‘sporting integrity’ is widely used in the normative assessment of sports. The term, however, suffers from a lack of conceptual precision. Alfred Archer’s ‘coherence-view’ of sporting integrity goes a long way to help clarify what ‘sporting integrity’ actually means and the specific institutional and individual obligations that it generates. Archer argues that ‘sporting integrity’ essentially means that the constraints athletes face ‘cohere’, in the sense of applying consistent inefficiencies between athletic competitors. For example, those who use performance enhancing drugs are less constrained than those who do not use PEDs, and thus PED use undermines sporting integrity. This paper presents the argument that over and above competitive coherence, sporting integrity means living up to the ‘spirit’ or ‘ethos’ of a game. The implications of this view are that a sport could have ‘coherent’ competitive constraints and still lack sporting integrity; additionally, a sport could have ‘i...



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Abe Zakhem
Seton Hall University

Citations of this work

Normative Pluralism and Sporting Integrity.Cem Abanazir - forthcoming - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy:1-18.
A defence of tanking in sports.L. A. Landgraf - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-13.

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References found in this work

Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
The Ethos of Games.Fred D'Agostino - 1981 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 8 (1):7-18.
The Many Faces of Integrity.Robert Audi & Patrick E. Murphy - 2006 - Business Ethics Quarterly 16 (1):3-21.
‘Sports Integrity’ Needs Sports Ethics.Lea Cleret, Mike McNamee & Stuart Page - 2015 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 9 (1):1-5.

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