On Sport and the Philosophy of Sport: A Wittgensteinian Approach, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

On Sport and the Philosophy of Sport

A Wittgensteinian Approach, 1st Edition

By Graham McFee


234 pages

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What is the ‘philosophy of sport’? What does one do to count as a practitioner in the philosophy of sport? What conception of philosophy underpins the answer to those questions? In this important new book, leading sport philosopher Graham McFee draws on a lifetime’s philosophical inquiry to reconceptualise the field of study. The book covers important topics such as Olympism, the symbolisation of argument, and epistemology and aesthetics in sport research; and concludes with a section of ‘applied’ sport philosophy by looking at rules and officiating.

Using a Wittgensteinian framework, and employing a rich array of sporting examples throughout, McFee challenges the assumptions of traditional analytic philosophy regarding the completeness required of concepts and the exceptionlessness required of philosophical claims, providing the reader with a new set of tools with which to approach this challenging subject. On Sport and the Philosophy of Sport is fascinating and important reading for any serious students or researchers of sport philosophy.


"McFee’s book is thought-provoking, interesting, and well argued… He has important insights and arguments that should be debated, and opposed, by sports philosophers in the near future. Otherwise philosophy of sport may be dead."— Gunnar Breivik, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, www.idrottsforum.org

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Structure of the Work; and of its Project Part 1: Elements for a Positive Account of Understanding Sport 1. Making sense of sport: a positive account 2. The place of ‘practices’ Part 2: Prospects for a Philosophy of Sport 3. Philosophical issues in respect of sport 4. Making sense of philosophy of sport 5. Why Symbolising Arguments Cannot Offer Rigour to the Philosophy of Sport: A Worked Example 6. Future prospects for the philosophy of sport: Epistemology and aesthetics? Part 3: Rational Reconstruction and History: An Olympic Case Study 7. Amateurism in De Coubertin’s Olympism Part 4: Rules, Decisions and Officiating Chapter 8. A framework for understanding officiating in purposive sports Chapter 9. Officiating in aesthetic sports Epilogue: Retrospective

About the Author

Graham McFee is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Brighton University, UK, and is part of the Philosophy Department at California State University, Fullerton, USA. His research and lecturing interests include the aesthetics of dance and the philosophy of Wittgenstein. His publications include Sport, Rules and Values (2004), Ethics, Knowledge and Truth in Sport Research (2010) and The Philosophical Aesthetics of Dance (2011).

About the Series

Ethics and Sport

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports