Fair Play in Sport: A Moral Norm System

By Sigmund Loland | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 5

Fair play in sport competitions

A moral norm system

My aim here has been to suggest moral norms to guide actions in sport competitions. I have pursued this aim by suggesting a particular interpretation of the ideal of fair play. As a point of departure I referred to a traditional understanding of the ideal. 'Formal' fair play is commonly understood as a set of norms for rule conformity and justice. 'Informal' fair play prescribes competing with effort and devotion and with respect for other persons engaged. In order to examine in a critical and systematic way whether, and eventually how, these ideals can be justified, I developed a moral point of view that included a consequentialist norm II inspired by utilitarian reasoning, and a non-consequentialist norm III for justice. Fairness norm 1 was articulated against the background of norm III for justice and gives 'formal' fair play a more detailed interpretation and justification. The play norm 2 was articulated with the help of the consequentialist norm II and is designed to maximize 'the good' in competitions. Norm 2 can be seen as a re-articulation and justification of 'informal' fair play.

In this way, I have worked within the framework of a mixed ethical theory with potential conflict between its main norms. So my moral point of view also included the meta-norm I, which served as a testing ground for cases of conflict and for the reasonableness of my conclusions. Following a contractualist line of reasoning, I have sought norms that 'no one can reject as a basis for unforced, informed general agreement'.

Methodologically, I have been looking for a reflective equilibrium where systematically developed norms and first-order moral beliefs cohere and mutually support each other. To reach such equilibrium has involved a process of constantly weighing different considerations. Sometimes, such as in Chapter 3 where I discussed classification of competitors, I found that there were cases in which moral beliefs and current practice violate the norm for equal opportunity to perform. More specific norms were formulated in order to provide a guide to better practice. In other cases, such as when I discussed the idea of the even matching of competitors, theoretically deduced norms and first-order beliefs cohered and supported each other. The norms I have formulated, then, can be regarded as a systematic articulation of fair play in

-143-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Fair Play in Sport: A Moral Norm System
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 175

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?