I define humility as a virtue that includes both proper self-assessment and a self-lowering other-centeredness. I then argue that humility, so understood, is a virtue in the context of sport, for several reasons. Humility is a component of sportspersonship, deters egoism in sport, fuels athletic aspiration and risk-taking, fosters athletic forms of self-knowledge, decreases the likelihood of an athlete seeking to strongly humiliate her opponents or be weakly humiliated by them, and can motivate an athlete to achieve greater levels of (...) excellence in her sport. In the context of team sports, humility can contribute to an athlete being a better teammate, foster unity amidst diversity within a team, and contribute to the overall moral and athletic excellence of a team. I also argue that an individual who is truly the world's greatest athlete can know and communicate this truth, while remaining humble. (shrink)
Sport builds character. If this is true, why is there a consistent stream of news detailing the bad behavior of athletes? We are bombarded with accounts of elite athletes using banned performance-enhancing substances, putting individual glory ahead of the excellence of the team, engaging in disrespectful and even violent behavior towards opponents, and seeking victory above all else. We are also given a steady diet of more salacious stories that include various embarrassing, immoral, and illegal behaviors in the private lives (...) of elite athletes. Elite sport is not alone in this; youth sport has its own set of moral problems. Parents assault officials, undermine coaches, encourage a win-at-all costs mentality, and in many cases ruin sport for their children. (shrink)
Rights and Obligations of Parents Historically, philosophers have had relatively little to say about the family. This is somewhat surprising, given the pervasive presence and influence of the family upon both individuals and social life. Most philosophers who have addressed issues related to the parent-child relationship—Kant and Aristotle, for example—have done so in a fairly […].
Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing. Vince Lombardi The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well. The Olympic Creed These two statements reflect two very different approaches to sport. The Lombardi quote reflects the view that we should take a win-at-all-costs approach. By contrast, (...) the Olympic Creed includes the idea that there is something more important in sport than victory. Perhaps the Olympic Creed is correct, and Lombardi mistaken. Perhaps the value of winning is found primarily in its potential to foster both athletic and moral excellence, while the overvaluing of victory for its own sake suffers from several deficiencies as an approach to sport. (shrink)
abstract In this paper, I first develop a neo-Aristotelian account of the virtue of magnanimity. I then apply this virtue to ethical issues that arise in sport, and argue that the magnanimous athlete will rightly use sport to foster her own moral development. I also address how the magnanimous athlete responds to the moral challenges present in sport by focusing on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs, and conclude that athletic excellence as it is conventionally understood, without moral excellence, has very (...) little value. (shrink)
I argue for a moderate view of the justification and the extent of the moral rights of parents that avoids the extremes of both children’s liberationism and parental absolutism. I claim that parents have rights qua parents, and that these prima facie rights are grounded in certain fundamental interests that both parents and children possess, namely, psychological well-being, intimate relationships, and the freedom to pursue that which brings satisfaction and meaning to life. I also examine several issues related to public (...) policy and the moral dimensions of the family—child abuse, children divorcing their parents, and the religious upbringing of children—and consider what implications the argument has for these issues. I conclude that the argument’s implications with respect to these issues further increases its plausibility. (shrink)
Offering philosophical insights into the popular morning brew, _Coffee -- Philosophy for Everyone_ kick starts the day with an entertaining but critical discussion of the ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and culture of coffee. Matt Lounsbury of pioneering business Stumptown Coffee discusses just how good coffee can be Caffeine-related chapters cover the ethics of the coffee trade, the metaphysics of coffee and the centrality of the coffee house to the public sphere Includes a foreword by Donald Schoenholt, President at Gillies Coffee Company.
Covering interesting and varied philosophical terrain, _Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone_ explores in a fun but critical way the rich philosophical, cultural, and existential experiences that arise when two wheels are propelled by human energy. Incorporates or reflects the views of high-profile and notable past-professional cyclists and insiders such as Lennard Zinn, Scott Tinley, and Lance Armstrong Features contributions from the areas of cultural studies, kinesiology, literature, and political science as well as from philosophers Includes enlightening essays on the varieties (...) of the cycling experience, ranging from the ethical issues of success, women and cycling, environmental issues of commuting and the transformative potential of cycling for personal growth Shows how bicycling and philosophy create the perfect tandem Includes a foreword by Lennard Zinn, author and owner of Zinn Cycles Inc. (shrink)
_Fatherhood - Philosophy for Everyone_ offers fathers wisdom and practical advice drawn from the annals of philosophy. Both thought-provoking and humorous, it provides a valuable starting and ending point for reflecting on this crucial role. Address the roles, experiences, ethics, and challenges of fatherhood from a philosophical perspective Includes essays on Confucius, Socrates, the experience of African fatherhood, and the perspective of two women writers Explores the changing role of fatherhood and investigates what it means to be a father An (...) ideal complement to _Motherhood - Philosophy for Everyone_. (shrink)
In this philosophical note I first offer a brief sketch of a Christian conception of humility. Next, I consider two criticisms of the claim that humility is a virtue, one from David Hume and a second from contemporary philosopher Tara Smith. What follows in this note is not a comprehensive defense of the claim that humility is a virtue. However, if humility is not a virtue, it will be for reasons other than those proffered by Hume and Smith, as their (...) criticisms fail on philosophical and empirical grounds. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga, in Warranted Christian Belief, offers a model for the rationality of a particular version of Christian theistic belief. After briefly summarizing Plantinga’s model, I argue that there are significant moral difficulties present within it. The Christian believer who gives assent to Plantinga’s model is vulnerable tocharges of irrationality and/or immorality when one considers the role and effects of original sin in the model. Similar difficulties arise when one considers a problem posed by religious pluralism for the model. I (...) consider some possible responses to these difficulties, and conclude that these issues merit more attention than they are given in Warranted Christian Belief. (shrink)
A unique anthology of essays exploring the philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run. It features writings from some of America’s leading philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum, Charles Taliaferro, and J.P. Moreland. A first-of-its-kind collection of essays exploring those gems of philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run Topics considered include running and the philosophy of friendship; the freedom of the long distance runner; running as aesthetic experience, and “Could a Zombie Run a Marathon?” Contributing essayists include (...) philosophers with athletic experience at the collegiate level, philosophers whose pasttime is running, and one philosopher who began running to test the ideas in his essay. (shrink)
The relationship between Christianity and sport is a long and varied one. Christian thinkers, past and present, have been highly critical of sport, for a variety of reasons. Others have been much more positive, and extol the virtues of sport. In this paper, I argue that sport is a context in which the Christian theological virtues of faith, hope, and love can be cultivated and displayed. One significant worry about this claim is that using sport to cultivate these theological virtues, (...) it is in some sense being corrupted. If sport is autotelic, then we should not infuse it with other values or agendas that undermine its autotelicity. I respond to this objection by arguing that sport can be valued for intrinsic and instrumental reasons. (shrink)
The doctrine of theosis is receiving increased attention from contemporary evangelicals. In this paper, I explore theosis and its importance for our understanding and practice of the Christian moral and spiritual life. I discuss the connection between theosis and how we understand the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, and conclude with some practical applications related to this doctrine.