Fair Play: Sports, Values, and Society

By Robert L. Simon | Go to book overview

About the Book and Author

We have become used to the world of sports being rocked by scandals. Stars are deprived of their Olympic gold medals because of their use of performanceenhancing drugs; heroes are suspended or banned from their sport for gambling or for connections to gambling; major universities are involved in recruiting scandals and are accused of exploiting their own students.

But ethical concerns about sports run deeper than the current scandals in today's headlines. Athletic competition itself has been criticized as reflecting a selfish concern with winning at the expense of others. Some question the emphasis on an athletically skilled elite at the expense of broader participation by the masses, and many worry about what constitutes sex equality in sports. Others believe the role of sports ought to be greatly diminished in our educational institutions. Do organized competitive sports have a legitimate place in our schools, and, if so, how is that place to be defined?

Professor Simon develops a model of athletic competition as a mutually acceptable quest for excellence and applies it to these and other ethical issues in sports. The discussion of each topic deals with examples from the world of sport, illuminated by philosophical work on such values as fairness, justice, integrity, and respect for rights.

Fair Play offers a rigorous exploration of the ethical presuppositions of competitive athletics and their connections to moral and ethical theory that will challenge the views of scholars, students, and the general reader. Our understanding of sports as a part of society will be reshaped by this accessible and entertaining book.

Robert L. Simon is professor of philosophy at Hamilton College and is coauthor of The Individual and the Political Order as well as numerous articles on ethical, social, and political philosophy. He has held fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the National Humanities Center. He also serves as men's varsity golf coach at Hamilton, and his team was ranked fifteenth nationally in Division III for the fall 1989 season.

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Fair Play: Sports, Values, and Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Introduction- Philosophy of Sports 1
  • 2 - The Ethics of Competition 13
  • 3 - Cheating and Violence in Sports 37
  • 4 - Enhancing Performance through Drugs 71
  • 5 - Equality and Excellence in Sports 93
  • 6 - Sex Equality in Sports 123
  • 7 - Do Intercollegiate Athletics Belong on Campus? 151
  • 8 - Sports and Social Values 187
  • Notes 203
  • About the Book and Author 221
  • Index 223
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