Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Contributor Introduction--Jim Tantillo

I am a lecturer in environmental philosophy and environmental history in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. When asked by Mike Austin to describe my interest in the philosophy of sport, I replied that mine is something more than a passing interest, although perhaps not yet a full-blown academic specialty. So I've read Suits, Callois, Weiss, Novak, for example, as well as Pieper, Huizinga, Kerr etc on play and leisure, but I'm eager to learn more.

I am particularly interested in connections between theology and play--the Catholic liturgy, for example, has been called "wasting time for God's sake." Also connections between scholarship and leisure, as these relate to play/game/sport; and leisure and play as objective goods necessary in ethics for human flourishing.

Most specifically I remain fascinated by the question I entertained some years ago in my dissertation on the philosophy and ethics of hunting: is hunting a sport? and if so why? So I guess I'm also interested in the semantics of the term, sport, because many critics of the term believe "sport" is a trivial or unimportant matter, whereas theologians/ethicists might argue that play/sport is what is most important for the good life.

"Anyway," I added, "The main reason [for joining the blog] is I think it would be fun. [Here I stuck a smiley face in my email.] That's my real justification and I'm sticking to it."

I'm very glad to be participating in this blog and am looking forward to some terrific discussions.

1 comment:

Jim Tantillo said...

post script. I've participated in a number of blogs, including my own class blogs with students. Long enough to develop a philosophy of blogs: to be successful, blogs need to be posted to!! ...hopefully with interesting posts, but dull ones will also do in a pinch.


So in my view, bad posts are better than no posts. But if I ever overstep my bounds, someone just give me a quick poke in the ribs, okay? thanks.