22 Baseball and Legal
LEGAL PHILOSOPHY is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of laws. While Social and Political Philosophy addresses larger questions of the State, philosophers of law look specifically at the laws that help make up the State.
When, in the now famous Brown v. Board of Education case of 1954, Thurgood Marshall argued that American separate but equal policies promoted inequality, his arguments were based on both law and philosophy. Today, legal philosophers like Ronald Dworkin focus on how judges can, and should, shape American law.
Because of the special status baseball enjoys in American culture, legal eagles of the judiciary have never been far from the ballpark. In 1919, for example, fudge lundis led the investigation into the Black Sox scandal, involving White Sox players accepting cash payments from gamblers in exchange for throwing the World Series. When Landis served Shoeless Joe Jackson with a lifelong banishment from the game, he began a precedent of linking baseball rules with American law.
The issue of steroids has brought senators and baseball scholars to the plate. Now it's time for the philosophers to take a swing at it. Why are drugs like aspirin considered legal, but not some steroids? In the following debate, Michael J. McGrath claims steroids use taints the game, while Simon Eassom believes it all comes down to a matter of taste. Which argument will pump you up?