Philosophy of Sport: Core Readings – Second Edition
  • Publication Date: November 10, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781554815357 / 1554815355
  • 366 pages; 6" x 9"

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Philosophy of Sport: Core Readings – Second Edition

  • Publication Date: November 10, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781554815357 / 1554815355
  • 366 pages; 6" x 9"

This second edition of Philosophy of Sport: Core Readings provides an overview of core topics in the field, ranging from fundamental questions about the nature of sport to ethical issues at the forefront of discussions of what sport should be. On the nature of sport, readers will gain a solid understanding of fundamental theories of games, play, and sports, as well as sport epistemology, the esports controversy, and sport aesthetics. Topics in the ethics of sport include performance-enhancing drugs, cheating, gamesmanship, and sportsmanship. This edition has been updated and expanded to include sections on gender and race and to provide broader and deeper coverage of this rapidly evolving area.


Philosophy of Sport: Core Readings is an excellent primer on the discipline. Jason Holt’s useful introductions, engaging questions, and thoughtful further reading lists offer students and scholars guided opportunities to engage more deeply with the field. This is a valuable compendium of important writings that demonstrates the breadth and growth of sport philosophy.” — Colleen English, Penn State Berks

“The first edition of Jason Holt’s Philosophy of Sport was already the best available anthology of core readings in the field. This second edition only improves upon the first, fleshing out much of what appeared before but also adding readings that reflect long-needed philosophical discussions of gender and race in sport. These additions make it not only an extremely useful book but an important one as well.” — Joseph Westfall, University of Houston, Downtown

“Both muscular and lithe, Philosophy of Sport: Core Readings covers all the bases. Jason Holt has put together a roster of readings that is the perfect mix of canonical, discipline-defining contributions and new, horizon-expanding pieces. It will work well as the basis of a college course and would be accessible and enjoyable for the casual reader. In short, it is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in exploring the various topics and issues of philosophy of sport.” — Ted Richards, Michigan State University

Philosophy of Sport: Core Readings successfully covers classic issues in philosophy of sport and raises edgy new problems for students to explore. The new edition addresses the ever-evolving use of technology and performance enhancement in sport, and shines a spotlight on important but traditionally overlooked areas such as sport epistemology and aesthetics. Crucially, Holt’s text also offers selections that closely examine racism, sexism, and general questions of stereotyping and implicit bias in sport. At the outset of each section, Holt offers clear, vibrant introductions to the reading selections. And following each section, he suggests genuinely engaging questions to support class discussion, reflective writing, argumentation, and further inquiry. All told, Holt offers students an exceptionally useful and most enjoyable introduction to the philosophy of sport.” — Moira Howes, Trent University

“Holt’s collection of essays includes the most influential readings in the philosophy of sport. This edition’s expansion and reorganization provides the best preparation for sport study without overwhelming students new to this inquiry.” — Brian Glenney, Norwich University

“With his updated selection of curated texts, Jason Holt has prepared the ground for a wide array of productive and interesting discussions on sports philosophy. The book is highly recommended for instructors who seek an informed and coherently edited collection of original texts, suitable for college and possibly also early graduate level students.” — Torgeir Fjeld, in Teaching Philosophy

Source Credits
Preface to the Second Edition

Part I: The Nature of Sport

  • A. Playing Games
    • (1) Johan Huizinga, “The Nature and Significance of Play”
    • (2) Bernard Suits, “The Elements of Sport”
  • B. Defining Sport
    • (3) John W. Loy Jr., “The Nature of Sport: A Definitional Effort”
    • (4) Klaus V. Meier, “Triad Trickery: Playing with Sport and Games”
  • C. Sport Epistemology
    • (5) Margaret Steel, “What We Know When We Know a Game”
    • (6) Harry Collins, “The Philosophy of Umpiring and the Introduction of Decision-Aid Technology”
  • D. Digital Sport?
    • (7) Dennis Hemphill, “Cybersport”
    • (8) Jason Holt, “Virtual Domains for Sports and Games”
  • E. Sport Aesthetics
    • (9) David Best, “The Aesthetic in Sport”
    • (10) Stephen Mumford, “Ways of Watching Sport”

Part II: The Ethics of Sport

  • F. Banning Drugs
    • (11) Robert L. Simon, “Good Competition and Drug-Enhanced Performance”
    • (12) J. Savulescu, B. Foddy, and M. Clayton, “Why We Should Allow Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sport”
  • G. Breaking Rules
    • (13) Craig K. Lehman, “Can Cheaters Play the Game?”
    • (14) Debra Shogan, “The Prisoner’s Dilemma in Competitive Sport: Moral Decision-Making vs. Prudence”
  • H. Beyond Rules
    • (15) Leslie A. Howe, “Gamesmanship”
    • (16) Randolph M. Feezell, “Sportsmanship”
  • I. Gendered Sport
    • (17) Jane English, “Sex Equality in Sports”
    • (18) Charlene Weaving, “‘Chicks Fighting in a Cage’: A Philosophical Critique of Gender Constructions in the Ultimate Fighting Championship”
  • J. Racialized Sport
    • (19) Albert Mosley, “Racial Differences in Sports: What’s Ethics Got to Do with It?”
    • (20) Mark Rubinfeld. “The Mythical Jim Thorpe: Re/presenting the Twentieth-Century American Indian”


Jason Holt is Professor of Kinesiology at Acadia University. His other books include Kinetic Beauty: The Philosophical Aesthetics of Sport (Routledge) and The Philosophy of Mixed Martial Arts: Squaring the Octagon (Routledge, co-editor).

  • • Divided into two parts: (I) the nature of sport, (II) the ethics of sport
  • • Each section contains paired readings that either take opposing views in a controversial debate or provide balanced coverage of an area in the field
  • • Each section begins with a unique overview and ends with original discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, and possibilities for future research
  • • Features of the Second Edition:
    • o Reading selections have been updated and expanded for greater currency and accessibility
    • o New sections on gender and race have been added