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We encourage children to play sports from an early age in order to instill in them such virtues as teamwork, perseverance, respect, fairness, and discipline, but, as perennial scandals in the headlines show us, sports also give rise to thorny ethical problems. Can the ugly, corrupt side of sports counteract their potential to deepen our moral lives and make a positive impact?
This accessible book tackles a wide-ranging array of topics that arise in ethics of sport on every level, from amateur to professional, and from the general to the specific.
Ethics of sport expert Robert Simon examines provocative, thorny questions throughout the book: Why do we care so much about sports? Do sports embody special values that social function views fail to grasp? Are such values good or bad? What counts as overemphasizing winning? Should winning be important in youth sports? What makes cheating in sports ethically objectionable? Is trash-talking cheating? How have performance enhancing drugs affected sport? Can we distinguish them from other advances that enhance performance, such as technological improvements in equipment? Should contact sports be modified to protect the health of athletes? Do organized athletics belong in schools? Don't athletic programs undermine academics in secondary and college education? Would it be better to separate sports and education, so schools focus on academics? Do sports undermine or reinforce gender equity? Why do so many elite athletes misbehave? How have professional sports affected minority groups and the underprivileged? Is money ruining elite sport?
Simon's short exploration of the ethics of sports, which unfolds in this series' distinctive question-and-answer format, will interest sports enthusiasts, those who seek to understand the ethical controversies in sport even from an outsider's perspective, and students of applied ethics who need a primer on sports ethics in particular.
Robert L. Simon is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Hamilton College. He has written widely on ethical issues is sports as well as on topics in political and social philosophy. He is a past president of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport and a recipient of its Distinguished Scholar award. He also was head golf coach for 14 years at Hamilton College and his teams participated in national championships.