Knowing the Score: How Sport teaches us about Philosophy (and Philosophy about Sport) Paperback – 4 May 2017
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The first time that a world-class philosopher has written a book entirely devoted to sport . . . a scintillating read . . . a marvellous overview of an important subject . . . Above all, this book will strengthen the conviction of those who argue that sport does not merely provide marvellous entertainment but shines a light on fascinating aspects of the human condition (Matthew Syed The Times)
Philosophy and sports would seem to be as different as chalk and cheese. In fact, as David Papineau demonstrates in Knowing the Score, they complement each other, like macaroni and cheese. In 18 brief, clear, stimulating essays, the author, an accomplished philosopher by trade and an enthusiastic sportsman by avocation, shows how the sports we play and follow illuminate such matters as citizenship, the rule of law, cooperation, tradition, and race and ethnicity - that is, the important and enduring issues of social and political life (Michael Mandelbaum)
This is what happens when a top philosopher with a razor-sharp analytical intelligence, a wicked sense of humour, and a clear-as-gin prose style takes on the world of sports, which he passionately loves both as a player and fan. Reading Papineau is like having the best sports-bar conversation ever. I was awed by his insights when I wasn't laughing at his anecdotes (Jim Holt)
Excellent on the issues of nationhood and nationality in international sport. He writes with vigour on the collision between sport and money . . . intelligent, plausible investigation (Mail on Sunday)
Valuable insight (Simon Kuper Spectator)
David Papineau's book is an important contribution to our thinking about sports, society, psychology, and moral philosophy. But it is also much more than that. Gripping from start to finish, it is a terrific read full of humour and good sense. You don't even have to like sports to enjoy it (Ian Buruma)
Engaging (Michael Shermer The Wall Street Journal Europe)
Entertaining, innovative and rewarding (Michael Wheeler Times Literary Supplement)
About the Author
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In particular, the professor is interested in the connection between conscious decision -making and automatic behaviour. He cites examples from fast-response sports like tennis and cricket. Other sporting topics are then subjected to philosophical examination. These include: fandom, altruism and road cycle racing.
There are 18 chapters dealing with how philosophical thinking can shed light on sporting topics, and how the sporting example can cast light on philosophical issues. Part 1 is headed Focus. Part 2, Rules, Part 3, Teams, Part 4 Tribes, Part 5 Values,. There are notes and a short bibliography.
Teams, looks into fandom, the survival of teams, and collective decision-making. Values, examines amateurism, the organisation of professional sports and tradition. A final chapter discusses why sport is so very important for many of us. Throughout, sporting examples are used to illustrate arguments.
A unique and intelligent book.