Sport, Rules and Values presents a philosophical perspective on issues concerning the character of sport. Discussion focuses on three broad uses commonly urged for rules: to define sport; to judge or assess sport performance; and to characterize the value of sport - especially if that value is regarded as moral value. In general, Sport, Rules and Values rejects a conception of the determinacy of rules as possible within sport (and a parallel picture of the determinacy assumed to be required by philosophy). Throughout, the presentation is rich in concrete cases from sport, including cricket, baseball, American football, soccer and ice-skating.
Detailed consideration of some ideas from classics in the philosophy of sport, especially writings by Bernard Suits and William Morgan, contextualizes this discussion. Overall, this work exemplifies the dependence of philosophical considerations of sport on ideas from philosophy more generally. Thus it sketches, for example, the contrast between rules and principles, an account of the occasion-sensitivity of understanding, and the place of normative and motivating reasons within practical reasoning.
Sport, Rules and Values represents a distinctive conception, both of sport and of its philosophical investigation, which will appeal to all those with an interest in philosophy and ethics of sport.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Sport, rules and values PART ONE: Rules in Explaining Sport 1. Definiteness and defining sport 2. Rule-following and formalism in sport 3. Rule-following and rule-formulations 4. Practices and normativity in sport PART TWO: Rules in Judging Sport 5. Aesthetic sports, publicity and judgement-calls 6. Principles and the application of rules 7. Spoiling, cheating and playing the game PART THREE: Rules in Valuing Sport 8. The project of a 'moral laboratory'; and particularism 9. The value of sport 10. Relativism, objectivity and truth Conclusion: Sport, rules and philosophy.
Graham McFee is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Brighton; and Vice President of the British Society of Aesthetics. He has written and presented extensively, both nationally and internationally, on the philosophy of Wittgenstein and on aesthetics, especially the aesthetics of dance.