Sport, Play, and Ethical Reflection
In paperback for the first time, Randolph Feezell’s Sport, Play, and Ethical Reflection immediately tackles two big questions about sport: “What is it?” and “Why does it attract so many people?” Feezell argues that sports participation is best described as a form of human play, and the attraction for participants and viewers alike derives from both its aesthetic richness and narrative structure. He then claims that the way in which sports encourage serious competition in trivial pursuits is fundamentally absurd, and therefore participation requires a state of irony in the participants, where seriousness and playfulness are combined.
Feezell builds on these conclusions, addressing important ethical issues, arguing that sportsmanship should be seen as a kind of Aristotelian mean between the extremes of over- and under-investment in sport. Chapters on cheating, running up the score, and character building stress sport as a rule-governed, tradition-bound practice with standards of excellence and goods internal to the practice. With clear writing and numerous illuminating examples, Feezell demonstrates deep insight into both of his subjects.
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absurd achieve aesthetic Alasdair MacIntyre Antoine’s argues arguments arise aspects athlete attempt attitudes baseball basketball behavior blowouts Bob Knight Caillois Cal Ripken Jr chapter character cheater cheating coach competition concept concerns context discussion Dixon Drew Hyland engage in sport ethical example excellence experience external freedom Gaylord Perry goal Homo Ludens Huizinga human humility Ibid important interesting internal internal viewpoint intrinsically Joel Feinberg judgments Keating’s kind Leaman MacIntyre MacIntyre’s means ment moral Murdoch Nagel narrative nature of sport notion objective offers one’s opponent ordinary participation in sports Paul Weiss person perspective Philosophy of Sport play the game play world player possible practice problem pursuit question reflection relation respect rience rules Schmitz seems sense seriousness simply Sisyphus skepticism spitball sport and play sports participation sportsmanship standpoint thesis things Thomas Nagel tion tive tradition trivial understand victory view of sport viewpoint virtues W. D. Ross Weiss winning wrong