1st Edition

Playing Games
An introduction to the philosophy of sport through dialogue

ISBN 9781138917279
Published October 18, 2016 by Routledge
212 Pages

USD $63.95

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Book Description

What is sport? Why does sport matter? How can we use philosophy to understand what sport means today? This engaging and highly original introduction to the philosophy of sport uses dialogue – a form of philosophical investigation – to address the fundamental questions in sport studies and to explore key contemporary issues such as fair play, gender, drug use, cheating, entertainment and identity.

Providing a clear, informative and accessible introduction to the philosophy of sport, every chapter includes current sporting examples as well as review questions and guides to further reading. The dialogue form enables students to engage in debate and raise questions, while encouraging them to think from the perspectives of athlete, coach, spectator and philosopher. The issues raised present real and complex ethical dilemmas that relate to a variety of sports from around the world such as soccer, athletics, baseball, basketball, hockey and tennis.

No other book brings this rich subject to life through the use of dialogue, making this an indispensable companion to any course on the philosophy or ethics of sport.

Table of Contents


Dialogue 1. Why Philosophy of Sport

Dialogue 2. What is Sport?

Dialogue 3. Sportsmanship

Dialogue 4. Cheating and Running Up the Score

Dialogue 5. Trash Talking and Gamesmanship

Dialogue 6. Competition and Winning

Dialogue 7. Drugs and Sport

Dialogue 8. Gender and Sports

Dialogue 9. Fans and Role Models

Dialogue 10. Sport and Meaning: Do Sports Matter?

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Randolph Feezell is Professor of Philosophy at Creighton University, USA. His classroom and research interests include ethics, philosophy of religion and philosophy of sport. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport and is the author of six books as well as numerous articles and reviews. Feezell played baseball at the University of Oklahoma and has coached baseball at virtually all levels, including over 10 years as a college assistant and hitting coach. He has played semiprofessional baseball, AAU basketball and tournament tennis.


'Randolph Feezell uses a dialogue between fictional characters, including one who is skeptical about the value of sport, to illuminate ethical issues in sport, including investigation of the value of competition, the nature of cheating, and disputes about gender equity. Feezell is not only a master of creating insightful dialogue, but also presents us with a comprehensive and informed debate about sports, their value, and how they might be conducted ethically that is both entertaining and nuanced. Playing Games succeeds in remaining accessible to a wide audience while providing readers with an analytically acute treatment of wide ranging issues in the philosophy of sport.' - Robert L. Simon, Walcott Bartlett Professor of Philosophy,
Hamilton College, USA