Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Links of Interest

First, a discussion of defining sport by Emily Ryall.

Second, an episode of Philoso?hy Talk dealing with issues in sports ethics with current NCAA president Myles Brand, who also happens to be a philosopher.

(Hat Tip: Dave Webster at

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Publication Announcement- Football and Philosophy

Football and Philosophy: Going Deep, has just been published by the University Press of Kentucky and is now available. The book's contents should appeal to those interested in philosophy of sport, and include contributions from contributors to this blog. Here's the table of contents, for those who are interested:

Foreword, Joe Posnanski
First Quarter: Football's Lessons for the Game of Life
1. Vince Lombardi and the Philosophy of Winning, Raymond A. Belliotti
2. On Fumbling the Ball, Jeffrey P. Fry
3. Football and Aristotle's Philosophy of Friendship, Daniel B. Gallagher
4. Inside the Helmet: What Do Football Players Know?, R. Douglas Geivett
Second Quarter: Playing Well Between the Lines
5. The Beauty of Football, Scott F. Parker
6. Virtue and Violence: Can a Good Football Player be a Good Person?, Scott A. Davison
7. What's So Bad about Performance-Enhancing Drugs?, Sharon Ryan
8. The True Nature of Cheating, Marshall Swain and Myles Brand
9. "They Don't Pay Nobody to Be Humble!": Football's Ego Problem, M. Andrew Holowchak
Third Quarter: Philosophical Armchair Quarterbacking
10. Crowning a True Champion: The Case for a College Football Playoff, Michael W. Austin
11. Heroes of the Coliseum, Heather L. Reid
12. A True MVP, Stephen Kershnar
13. Upon Further Review: Instant Replay is an All-or-Nothing Affair, Joshua A. Smith
14. Does the Salary Cap Make the NFL a Fairer League?, Daniel Collins-Cavanaugh
Fourth Quarter: Metaphysical Mojo
15. Is the Gridiron Holy Ground?, Mark Hamilton
16. Touchdowns, Time, and Truth, Joseph Keim Campbell
17. Feel the Big Mo', Ben Letson

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Boycotting the Olympic Games

I've been thinking a little bit recently about the ethics of boycotting the Olympics. A Google search reveals some interesting calls for boycotting the upcoming Games in China due to human rights violations in China, the situation with Tibet, and China's failure to use its influence in the Sudan to deal with the genocide in Darfur. There are calls for the U.S.A. to boycott the Games, for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies, for the European Union to boycott the Games, and reports of celebrities engaging in individual boycotts.

There are several interesting questions specific to this situation, and to the general relationship between politics, ethics, and the Olympic Games. What sort of philosophical justifications have been or can be given for and against boycotting the Games? Are there principled reasons for boycotting? Must a boycott have a good chance at being effective in producing positive political change to be justified? What about considerations of fairness to the athletes who will miss out on the Games if a boycott precludes their participation?

I would be interested to see what readers of this blog have to say about these issues.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

I've only seen the trailer below, and read a bit about this film, but I think it would be of interest to readers of this blog.