Instructor: Jan Boxill. This course meets TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in CW 103.
Sports play a significant role in the lives of millions of people throughout the world, as participants, fans, spectators, and critics. Sport provides a unique model for understanding our own society. Even those who are uninvolved, bored or critical of sports are often affected by them. Because sports are significant forms of social activities, they raise a wide range of issues, some factual, some explanatory. E.g. sociologists may be concerned with whether or not sports affect society; psychologists may be concerned with personality features which contribute to success or failure in sport. In addition to these questions, sports also raise philosophical issues that are conceptual and ethical in nature. Conceptual questions ask how we understand the concepts and ideas that apply to the world of sports. What are sports? What is involved in competition? Ethical questions raise moral concerns many of us have about sports. Is there too much emphasis on winning and competition? Are college sports getting out of hand? Indeed do competitive athletics belong on campus? Has commercialization of sports undermined their integrity? This course will examine these and other ethical issues in American sports, including, but not limited to, Title IX, gender equity, racism, sexism, cheating, violence, and drug use. My concern will be to gain an understanding of the moral significance of sport through readings and class discussion. We may not be able to resolve the issues, but we should at least gain a greater understanding of the issues, which should serve as beginnings to resolutions.