Sport, Rules, and Values: Philosophical Investigations Into the Nature of Sport

Routledge (2004)
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Abstract

Sport, Rules and Values presents a philosophical perspective on some issues concerning the character of sport. Central questions for the text are motivated from real life sporting examples as described in newspaper reports. For instance, the (supposed) subjectivity of umpiring decisions is explored via an examination of the judging ice-skating at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games of 2002. Throughout, the presentation is rich in concrete cases from sporting situations, including baseball, football, and soccer. While granting the constitutive nature of the rules of sport, discussion focuses on three broad uses commonly urged for rules: in defining sport; in judging or assessing sport (as deployed by judges or umpires); and in characterizing the value of sport, especially if that value is regarded as moral value. In general, McFee 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.

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