Nov 28, 2023  
College Catalog 2014-2015 
College Catalog 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHIL 215 - Philosophy of Sport

Sports and games deserve close philosophical examination since they have always played an important part in human life. We first ask what exactly sports, games and athletics are, and how they are distinct from other modes of life. Next, we consider the main arguments for and against sports. For example, does sport promote virtue and ‘fair-play’ or, on the contrary, aggression and egoism? It is often said that sport is an essential part of the ‘well-rounded’ life and a liberal arts education. But why are well-rounded lives, and liberal arts educations, good? We will explore numerous ethical and conceptual issues that arise within sports, such as cheating and ‘sportsmanship’, violence and injury, doping and enhancement, and gender and racial equity. And we will consider whether sports can help us gain insight into more general philosophical concepts, such as virtue, justice, health, embodiment, friendship, consciousness, absurdity, death, and beauty. Our ultimate concern will be: what is the place of sport and games in a good and meaningful human life? Is it possible that life itself is a game? Along with numerous philosophical readings, contemporary and historical, we will also discuss philosophical treatments of sports in literature and film. Every other year. (4 Credits)