Philosophy of Sport
Core Readings
  • Publication Date: November 22, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781554811465 / 1554811465
  • 328 pages; 6" x 9"

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Philosophy of Sport

Core Readings

  • Publication Date: November 22, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781554811465 / 1554811465
  • 328 pages; 6" x 9"

Unlike hefty anthologies and skinny monographs, this volume offers both concision and breadth: a mesomorphic text. The division of the book into two parts, the first on the nature of sport, the second on rules and values, is a natural one, reaching out from a grasp of what sport is toward an understanding of what it ought to be. In addition to the carefully selected readings, the book includes discussion questions and ideas for further inquiry, laying out the depth of debate in this rapidly growing field. Ultimately, readers will glean a richer understanding of what sport is and why it matters, so much and in so many ways, to so many people.


“ … a craftily constructed introductory text to the philosophy of sport designed to contain a broad-based view of the discourse through seminal and important pieces of literature. … In addition to serving as a primary text in a sport philosophy-specific course, the book could serve as a supplementary selection for combination courses involving units or segments concerning sport philosophy or sport ethics.” — Adam G. Pfleegor, in Sports, Ethics, and Philosophy

“A welcome addition to the growing literature in philosophy of sport, this book, in its unique selection of core readings, exposes the reader to each specialty in philosophy of sport, providing a broad exposure to the basic questions in those specialties and an understanding of major attempts to answer these questions.” — Jan Boxill, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Philosophy of Sport: Core Readings provides a fine entry point into the ever-expanding sport philosophy literature. This book is both nimble in its concise presentation of the discipline and functional as a key to further inquiries and critical examinations of sport. Useful to both the student and the seasoned scholar, Holt’s edited collection is a welcome addition to the growing sport philosophy library.” — Peter M. Hopsicker, Pennsylvania State University, Altoona

Philosophy of Sport: Core Readings offers a variety of the most fundamental articles ever published in the field. Jason Holt contextualizes, thematizes, and modernizes the core discussions sport philosophers have had. And he does so using insightful introductory observations, thought-provoking questions, and comments for further exploration that sport philosophy students—the future of the field—can enjoy.” — Chad Carlson, Eastern Illinois University


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

  1. John W. Loy, Jr., “The Nature of Sport: A Definitional Effort”
  2. Klaus V. Meier, “Triad Trickery: Playing With Sport and Games”

C. Sport Epistemology

  1. Margaret Steel, “What We Know When We Know a Game”
  2. Jason Holt and Laurence E. Holt, “The ‘Ideal’ Swing, the ‘Ideal’ Body: Myths of Optimization”

D. Exploring Physicality

  1. Dennis Hemphill, “Cybersport”
  2. Iris Marion Young, “Throwing Like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment, Motility, and Spatiality”

Part II: Rules and Values

E. Sport Aesthetics

  1. David Best, “The Aesthetic in Sport”
  2. Peter J. Arnold, “Sport, the Aesthetic and Art: Further Thoughts”

F. Banning Drugs

  1. Robert L. Simon, “Good Competition and Drug-Enhanced Performance”
  2. W.M. Brown, “Paternalism, Drugs, and the Nature of Sports”

G. Breaking Rules

  1. Craig K. Lehman, “Can Cheaters Play the Game?”
  2. Simon Eassom, “Playing Games With Prisoners’ Dilemmas”

H. Beyond Rules

  1. Leslie A. Howe, “Gamesmanship”
  2. Randolph M. Feezell, “Sportsmanship”

Permission Acknowledgments


Jason Holt is Associate Professor in the School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology at Acadia University.