Knowing the Score What Sports Can Teach Us About Philosophy (And What Philosophy Can Teach Us About Sports)

By David Papineau

Knowing the Score is perfect reading for armchair philosophers and Monday morning quarterbacks alike.


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Why do sports competitors choke? Why is it moral for baseball outfielders to fake a catch to deceive the umpire, but ethically taboo for a cricketer to do the same? How can Roger Federer decide which shot to play in less than half a second? Why are there plenty of family dynasties in auto racing, but few in basketball?

These may not look like philosophical questions, but under the surface they all involve long-standing philosophical issues. In Knowing the Score, David Papineau uses sports to illuminate some of philosophy’s most perplexing questions, showing that the study of sports clarifies, challenges, and even advances crucial philosophical debates.

A prominent who is also an omnivorous sports fan and enthusiastic competitor, David Papineau is uniquely well placed to explore the territory. He draws on metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of mind to cast light on fast-response sporting skills, the meaning of fair play, team decision-making, national identity and sporting eligibility, and many other issues. Sports, Papineau argues, is no less serious than the rest of life, and provides essential material for deep philosophical reflection.


Category: Genre: Non-Fiction, Philosophy sku: 9780465049684

Additional information

Weight 14.4 oz
Dimensions 8.63 × 5.75 × 1.13 in