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Cudd, Ann E., , . Sporting Metaphors: Competition and the Ethos of Capitalism
2007, Journal of the Philsophy of Sport 34 (1): 52-67.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord, Contributed by:

Synopsis: This article examines metaphors that illuminate the competitive aspects of capitalism and its focus on winning but also metaphors that emphasize cooperation and ways that capitalism improves the lives not only of the winners but also of all who choose to play the game by its rules. Although sports metaphors invoked to describe capitalist competition may appear to cast an unflattering light on both capitalism and sport, on a deeper analysis those metaphors appeal to many of us because they reveal a closer resemblance to the Latin root of the word ‘competition’ and its cooperative, pareto-improving implications. Just as healthy competition in sports requires cooperation, healthy capitalism is also,ultimately, a cooperative endeavor. I will argue that metaphors imported from and expanded through our experiences of sport reveal many, while concealing other, aspects of capitalism.

Comment: This text would have a place within a course on business ethics that considers whether competition is good or bad within the context of the market. This would make it an interesting addition to a course that covered Satz’s Why Some Things Should Not be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets. It is also a good overview of some ideas that are central to the philosophy of sport, such as what constitutes a game, the idea of cooperation, and competitiveness (winning/non-winning).

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Humphreys, , . Game Birds: The Ethics of Shooting Birds for Sport
2010, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 4 (1): 52-65
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Rebekah Humphreys

Abstract: This paper aims to provide an ethical assessment of the shooting of animals for sport. In particular, it discusses the use of partridges and pheasants for shooting. While opposition to hunting and shooting large wild mammals is strong, game birds have often taken a back seat in everyday animal welfare concerns. However, the practice of raising game birds for sport poses significant ethical issues. Most birds shot are raised in factory-farming conditions, and there is a considerable amount of evidence to show that these birds endure extensive suffering on these farms. Considering the fact that birds do have interests, including interests in life and not suffering, what are the ethical implications of using them for blood sports? Indeed, in the light of the suffering that game birds endure in factory farms, it may be that shooting such birds for sport is more morally problematic than other types of hunting and shooting which many people are often fiercely opposed to, for while it seems plausible to say that some animals may be harmed more by death than others (due to, say, their greater capacities), there may be harms that are worse than death (such as a life of intolerable suffering). The objective of this paper is to assess the ethics of shooting animals for sport, and in particular the practice of raising game birds for use in blood sports, by applying principles commonly used in ethics; specifically the principle of non-maleficence and equal consideration of (like) interests

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Humphreys, Rebekah , , . Games, Fair-Play and a Sporting-Chance: A Conceptual Analysis of Blood-Sports
2020, Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2017/18: Special Edition: Humans and Other Animals, 96-114
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Rebekah Humphreys

Abstract: The killing of Cecil the lion in 2015 by a trophy hunter sparked a global debate regarding the killing of lions for ‘sport’. While many were outraged by Cecil’s killing, Cecil was just one of the millions of animals that have been used in the sports-shooting industry. Cecil’s killing brings with it the question of whether so-called ‘blood sports’ (whether these involve killing big game or smaller animals) are actually ‘sports’ at all, in the ordinary sense. As such, this paper aims to provide an analysis of blood-sport as a concept. The objective will be to examine whether blood-sports are games and to analyse to what extent, if any, blood-sports can be called ‘sports’ properly. Such an analysis will be presented through employing a generalised notion of sport and through a discussion of fair-play. Pace S. P. Morris (2014) who argues that hunting which incorporates a fair-chase code is a game and a sport, this current paper concludes that it is doubtful that blood-sport is a game, and that even if one assumes that it is a game, it cannot be classed as sport, and further that any fair-chase code undermines itself in the context of so-called ‘blood-sports’.

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Humphreys, Rebekah , , . The Argument from Existence, Blood-Sports, and ‘Sport-Slaves’
2014, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 27 (2): 331-345
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Rebekah Humphreys

Abstract: The argument from existence is often used as an attempted justification for our use of animals in commercial practices, and is often put forward by lay-persons and philosophers alike. This paper provides an analysis of the argument from existence primarily within the context of blood-sports (applying the argument to the example of game-birding), and in doing so addresses interesting and related issues concerning the distinction between having a life and living, or worthwhile life and mere existence, as well as issues surrounding our responsibilities to prospective and actual beings. However, my analysis of the argument will go beyond the animal ethics context; it is important that it does so in order to reveal the troublesome implications of the argument and to highlight the sorts of unethical practices it supports. In particular, in applying the argument to a relevant example concerning human beings, I will discuss how the argument from existence could be used to justify the ownership of slaves who were reared for slavery. My objective is to show just how problematic the argument from existence is, with the aim of laying the argument to rest once and for all.

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McKinnon, Rachel, , Conrad, Aryn. Including Trans Women in Sport: Analyzing Principles and Policies of Fairness in Competition
2020, In: Philosophical Topics: Gendered Oppression and Its Intersections (Ed. Bianka Takaoka and Kate Manne)
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Lizzy Ventham

Abstract: In this paper, we examine the scientific, legal, and ethical foundations for inclusion of transgender women athletes in competitive sport, drawing on IOC principles and relevant Court of Arbitration for Sport decisions. We argue that the inclusion of transathletes in competition commensurate with their legal gender is the most consistent position with these principles of fair and equitable sport. Biological restrictions, such as endogenous testosterone limits, are not consistent with IOC and CAS principles. We explore the implications for recognizing that endogenous testosterone values are a natural physical trait and that excluding legally recognized women for high endogenous testosterone values constitutes discrimination on the basis of a natural physical trait. We suggest that the justificatory burden for such prima facie discrimination is unlikely to be met. Thus, in place of a limit on endogenous testosterone for women (whether cisgender, transgender, or intersex), we argue that legally recognized gender is most fully in line with IOC and CAS principles.

Comment: I would use this paper primarily as a key piece of reading in an applied ethics class. It’s detailed, topical, and can be a great way to start discussions on trans* issues, gender, sport, and fairness. It makes some good use of science and statistics, but in a way that’s accessible, and it offers original arguments. It would also be useful in classes on feminism or the philosophy of sport.

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Reid, Heather, , . Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport
2012, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
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Back Matter: This comprehensive text examines the history, significance, and philosophical dimensions of sport. Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport is organized to reflect the traditional division of philosophy into metaphysical, ethical, and sociopolitical issues, while incorporating specific concerns of today’s athletic world, such as cheating, doping, and Title IX, where they are applicable. This approach provides students with a basic understanding of the philosophy of sport as a whole and better equips them to investigate specific issues. Introduction to the Philosophy of Sport is not only an outline of the discipline and a summary of much of its pioneering work, but also an invitation for students to join the conversation by connecting it to their own athletic experience.

Comment: This text is a comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of sport, covering metaphysical, ethical, and political aspects of sport. Reid incorporates both Eastern and Western philosophy to provide a nuanced picture of the philosophy of sport. The text is structured in such a way that one could format a philosophy of sport course around its chapters.

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