Thursday, December 20, 2012
Somehow, I'm sceptical.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Read more at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/michael_rosenberg/11/29/spurs-gregg-popovich-right-resting-starters/index.html#ixzz2DoinIAaR .
Popovich angers Stern by resting Spurs' stars, but it's the right callI love a good ethical dilemma, and Gregg Popovich gave us a great one Thursday night. He benched four of his top players -- Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green -- for a national TV game against the Miami Heat.
Popovich has benched Duncan numerous times before, because while they may build a statue of Duncan one day, they don't want him to play like one in May. But Parker is 30. Green is 25. What kind of a world is this when a 25-year-old professional basketball player needs rest? Go tell the guys on the 5 a.m. shift at the nearest assembly line that Green needed to rest.
Before the opening tip, this looked like an unofficial forfeit -- giving up one game to improve your chances of winning the next.
It seemed to go against the one fundamental principle we hold for all our sports: Everybody must try.
But did it?
Or was Popovich not only within his rights, but simply right?
Friday, September 28, 2012
Fandom, Fantasy, and Fitness
The 2nd Annual Rockford College Sports Studies Symposium
Date: April 19, 2013
Grace Roper Lounge
5050 E. State. St.
Rockford, IL 61108
Fans play a central role at all levels and within various aspects of sport, so any study of sport would do well to consider their influences in connection to fandom, fantasy, and fitness. A specific and growing area of fandom, fantasy sports, illustrates a concrete and complex way fans relate to and even affect sport. Moreover, the implicit and explicit connection of sport to fitness offers another important way that fans interact with sport. This year’s symposium seeks to explore and examine these aspects of the relationship between fan and sport.
We invite scholars from all disciplines to submit an abstract on these themes. This symposium will then bring together several panels of scholars to discuss these themes. The focus of each panel will depend, in part, on the submitted abstracts. Each presenter on a panel will have 20 minutes for their presentation. This will be followed by 30 minutes of a combined Q&A.
Submissions are welcome on this theme of Fandom, Fantasy, and Fitness, or other related issues arising in the study of Sport. Abstract should be 300-500 words. Send via email (as PDF) to SSS13@Rockford.edu
Deadline: Friday, January 25th, 2013.
Notification of Acceptance: Monday, February 4th, 2013.
If you have any questions, please email SSS13@Rockford.edu, contact Shawn Klein (Assistant Professor, Philosophy Department) at 815-226-4115, or Michael Perry (Assistant Professor, English Department) at 815-226-4098.
Friday, September 21, 2012
And see this link for a book (my book, couldn't resist) on this theme.
Here are some more details about the conference:
The University of Sheffield, in collaboration with the Open University and the Royal Institute of Philosophy, is organising two public events for philosophers and runners, and interested public, dedicated to an exploration of the philosophy of running.
Questions that will undoubtedly arise include, Why run? What sort of value does running have? What might running tell us about intentions and effort? What is philosophically distinctive about running?
Each event will include talks by a couple of running philosophers (see who we are). And then a roundtable discussion with the great and the good from the running community (see the Sheffield Event and the Brighton Event).
The events are free.
… but it’d be good if you can register so we make sure we have enough coffee and cake.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
All too often, the players who go all out on the field but can't readily turn it off elsewhere are the best players. They're the most headlong, the most fearless, the most dedicated. And when they encounter a modulated, more controlled antagonist in a game, often they, the more brutal players, win.
Lawrence Taylor was one of the best players ever to appear in the National Football League. With his speed and ferocity, and his ability to run down the opposing quarterback, he made football into a different, more violent game. But he was often as much in a fury off the field as on. By his own account, Taylor led the life of a beast—drunk, brawling, high on coke, speeding in his car: He was a peril to anyone who came near him.
His coach, Bill Parcells, allowed him to cultivate this off-field character, knowing that it contributed to his prowess when he played. If the best players are the ones who are the least controlled, the ones in whom passion for pre-eminence trumps reason, then it is not entirely clear that one can say what American coaches and boosters love to say, that sports builds character. If having a good character means having a coherent, flexible internal structure, where the best part rules over the most dangerous, then sports may not always be conducive to true virtue.Read the entire essay here.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Readers of this blog might be interested in a new blog, The Sports Ethicist:
Whether one is a participant, a casual spectator, a die-hard fan, or a critic, sport, in all its varieties and forms, play a significant role in the lives of most people through out the world. Sports and competitions have long been a part of human civilization and raise a wide range of important philosophical and ethical issues. This blog will examine these issues and explore both the ethical implications of sport and the ways sport can teach us about ethics and human life.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The Olympics and Philosophy is now available in physical and Kindle formats. The book is divided into 6 parts: The Ideal Olympian, Ancient Heritage, Modern Ideals, Ethical Issues, Race and Gender Issues, and Political Power. The chapters include Olympic figures Jesse Owens, Emil Zatopek, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and Wilma Rudolph and philosophers Jane English, Aristotle, and Edmund Husserl, among others. There are discussions of Olympic boxing, soccer/football, women's beach volleyball, and various athletic events.
From the publisher's description:
While today's Olympic champions are neither blessed by the gods nor rewarded with wreaths of olive, the original spirit and ancient ideals of the Olympic Movement endure in its modern embodiment. Editors Heather L. Reid and Michael W. Austin have assembled a team of international scholars to explore topics such as the concept of excellence, ethics, doping, gender, and race. Interweaving ancient and modern Olympic traditions, The Olympics and Philosophy considers the philosophical implications of the Games' intersection with historical events and modern controversy in a unique analysis of tradition and the future of the Olympiad.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Many of these are now available on video at the RIP's website, with more to come.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
British Wrestling's chairman, Malcolm Morley said, "The only countries with a wealth of talent are the eastern bloc countries. Some of the athletes we brought over wanted to compete in international competition. The only way they could do so was to transfer allegiance to Great Britain. Who can stop them living their dream? We've got to do the best for our sport at the end of the day."
Whilst The Guardian's Owain Gibson notes, "The debate cuts to the heart of issues around Britain's medal hopes and how they are funded, while embracing emotive questions of national identity and sporting fairness."
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
IF only I had read Plato.That’s what I thought when I saw my MRI: 28 images, impossible to deny, of a torn rotator cuff muscle — a consequence of years of weightlifting. And that’s just my shoulder. May I present C4, C5 and C6 (my herniated discs), my plantar fasciitis, my patellar tendinitis — residual damage done to a body, now 51, in the name of exercise, in pursuit of being buff.Plato could have warned me. In “The Republic,” he advises “temperance” in physical training, likening it to learning music and poetry. Keep it “simple and flexible,” as in all things, don’t overdo. Follow this course, and you will remain “independent of medicine in all but extreme cases.”
There are many interesting issues here, but I'm reminded of an ultrarunner in the Boulder area from my grad school days who would pop large amounts of ibuprofen before a race because of the pain and damage done to his body. This is risky, if memory serves. Speaking from the philosopher's armchair, I believe that there are some similar non-temperate traits at work in people devoted to philosophy and physical exercise/sport. A similar "obsessive-ness" can be at work in both pursuits. I speak from experience here.
With respect to sport, there is wisdom in a temperate approach. I don't think it is always easy to determine when one's participation in sport exceeds what might be thought of as temperate. There are clear cases, of course, but others that are not so clear. Some may think ultrarunning is a case of intemperance, but I would argue that this is not necessarily so. I recall many ultrarunners who argued that even if it was bad for their bodies over the long haul, or even if it took years off of their lives, they would prefer to engage in the sport while possible because of the quality of life that this yielded for them. And I can understand this sentiment. I no longer have aspirations to run an ultramarathon because of back surgery several years ago, but I would like to do a century on my road bike in the next few years.
Ultimately, whether or not one is taking a temperate approach to sport will not only depend upon the physical impact, but upon one's other commitments in life as well. Some phases of life or forms of life allow one more freedom than others. I couldn't train for an ultra right now even if I wanted to and maintain my family, work and other commitments in a satisfactory manner. Others can. This is consistent with Aristotle's views about virtue and the mean, as he argues that the mean will vary given the particular circumstances of one's life. The lesson, perhaps, is to reflect upon the role sport is playing (and should play) in one's life, and to make whatever changes are appropriate.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The International Association for the Philosophy of Sport invites the submission of abstracts to be considered for presentation at the 40th annual 2011 IAPS meeting. The conference will be held September 12-15, 2012 in Porto, Portugal.
Abstracts are welcome on any area of philosophy of sport, including metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, and ethics, and from any theoretical approach, including analytic philosophy and critical theory. While IAPS recognizes, values, and encourages interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies, acceptance is contingent on the philosophical content of the project. Emerging scholars are encouraged to submit works in progress.
A Program Committee of three IAPS peers will review abstracts. Contributors will be notified about the status of their abstracts by May 14, 2012
Proposals for round table and panel discussions, including a tentative list of participants, are also welcome and should follow the same format as paper abstracts.
R. SCOTT KRETCHMAR STUDENT ESSAY AWARD
IAPS is proud to announce the “R. Scott Kretchmar Student Essay Award.” Interested undergraduate and graduate students should submit a full paper by June 15, 2012 (in addition to an abstract, see below). A separate announcement is posted at the IAPS website <http://iaps.net/conference/> .
Abstracts should be 300-500 words long, in English, and must be received by April 2, 2012. Please, follow the following instructions (incomplete proposals will be returned). Provide:
- Name, E-mail, current position, and employer
- Title of Program
- Key Words (three to five)
- Primary Content Area/s (choose no more than 2)
- Ethics d. Epistemology g. Applied
- Metaphysics e. Phenomenology h. History
- Aesthetics f. Comparative i. Other (explain)
- Indicate special Audio-Visual requirements (computer & projector will be provided)
The preferred mode of submission is by e-mail.
Please send the abstract blind-review ready as an attachment, preferably in Word, to the Conference Chair at: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Contributors who lack access to e-mail may send a hard copy instead to the following address:
IAPS Conference Chair
Associate Professor of Philosophy
900 SE Baker St., Unit 580
McMinnville, OR 97128 (USA)
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
I would love to hear reactions to Brooks's discussion of the "Jeremy Lin Problem."
For many religious teachers, humility is the primary virtue. You achieve loftiness of spirit by performing the most menial services. (That’s why shepherds are perpetually becoming kings in the Bible.) You achieve your identity through self-effacement. You achieve strength by acknowledging your weaknesses. You lead most boldly when you consider yourself an instrument of a larger cause.
The most perceptive athletes have always tried to wrestle with this conflict. Sports history is littered with odd quotations from people who try to reconcile their love of sport with their religious creed — and fail.
Jeremy Lin has wrestled with this tension quite openly. In a 2010 interview with the Web site Patheos, Lin recalled, “I wanted to do well for myself and my team. How can I possibly give that up and play selflessly for God?”
Lin says in that interview that he has learned not to obsess about stats and championships. He continues, “I’m not working hard and practicing day in and day out so that I can please other people. My audience is God. ... The right way to play is not for others and not for myself, but for God. I still don’t fully understand what that means; I struggle with these things every game, every day. I’m still learning to be selfless and submit myself to God and give up my game to Him.”
The odds are that Lin will never figure it out because the two moral universes are not reconcilable. Our best teacher on these matters is Joseph Soloveitchik, the great Jewish theologian. In his essays “The Lonely Man of Faith” and “Majesty and Humility” he argues that people have two natures. First, there is “Adam the First,” the part of us that creates, discovers, competes and is involved in building the world. Then, there is “Adam the Second,” the spiritual individual who is awed and humbled by the universe as a spectator and a worshipper.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Luis Suarez, a player for Liverpool FC, was banned for eight matches by the Football Association and was required to pay a £40,000 after racially abusing Patrice Evra of Manchester United in October. The rivalry between the teams has often caused great controversy with verbal abuse often directed between opposing fans and players. Suarez’s refusal to apologies to Evra, and Liverpool’s support for the player has provoked widespread criticism, as well as a wider debate about racism in football. In another case, England and Chelsea captain, John Terry, has been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence after he allegedly used racist language towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. He will appear in court on July 9th 2012. The fallout from this case led to the resignation of England’s manager, Fabio Capello.
While these cases firmly put racism in sport in the spotlight, it is important to acknowledge that the root source of such on-field incidents stem from a widespread acceptance of sledging/trash-talking in sport. The notion of sledging/trashtalking is an issue that causes much controversy. In cricket it is thought to be the fielding team's way of getting inside the batsman's mind (Booth, 2007). In football, taunting and abusing opponents appears to be the norm for both spectators and players.
In the philosophical literature, apologists have suggested it is simply (a strategic) part of the game (Cox et al., 2003; Summers, 2007) while critics consider it a form of borderline cheating (gamesmanship) (Howe, 2004) or irrelevant to sporting competition (Dixon, 2008).
Is it possible to segregate sledging into two distinct categories – impersonal (non-moral) and personal (moral)?
Impersonal (non-moral) sledging/trash-talk is the attempt to add psychological pressure to an opponent (Fraser, 2005) by directing disparaging remarks about their sporting performance. As such critical comments do not directly disrespect an individual’s personhood and integrity, but is instead an attack on what they do rather than who they are.
As such comments are relatively benign are they morally insignificant?
Should we then focus more on more overt and personal verbal abuse?
Or is it fruitless to forge a normative line between what is personal and impersonal as both forms involve viewing ones opponents as means rather than ends in themselves?
Does such behaviour degenerate into personal attacks, such as racial or other offensive insults?
Monday, February 13, 2012
Is it the underdog story that is so compelling? i.e., Lin as Linderella?
Is Lin's ethnicity a compelling part of the story? Tim Dalrymple argues that it is, but that Lin's religious beliefs are even more significant.
Is there anyone else here who is fascinated by Jeremy Lin and Linsanity, and why?