IAPS2005, Czech Republic Friday morning


Dehumanisation -    Schneider and butcher consider incomplete, since do not know what humanness is

Paper on philosophy of language

4. could a human being ever not be or be less human?

Miah -    “concluding what is ethical about what is ethical….what is valuable about being human….human dignity…autonomy….capacity for being persons…strong evaluations….’ -    Central claim about personhood – measure of individuals…personhood ….. humanness as personhood responds to Schneider and butcher that no …. .persons need not be humans (McNamee – OK, but this is not Mike’s idea. Tooley wrote about this and Singer )

Metaphysical conception of humanness is a mistake

Miah -    Warnock – personhood takes direct route

ME: but Warnock was engaged in various processes – a working legal document

What gives sport value?

For whom?

Which sport, what level, etc?

Dehumanise is dominant concept, rather than human

No need for metaphysical conception of humanness

Charles Travis

What is a greyhound?

Fathers method of developing sense of greyhoundnes is useless

Mother is better – point to different dogs and call them

ME: but what would the mother say?

If we can identify conception of contrast, creates apparent philosophical problem

Baker on Wittgenstein – we get in trouble when picture associated with concept is incompatible

Moral particularism

Account of humanness appears necessary

Need disappears

Approach from concrete use in language

ME: when you begin to ascribe rights and freedoms, you need a metaphysical definition that allows you to make distinctions

Contrasts are drawn in general way

Drawing a line -    in moral judgements creates misleading picture -    leads us to want to say that everything on one side is ok and on other is objectionable -    generalisation is misake

ME: but line drawing is not really used as moral judgment, but to enable a judicial (rule-based) system to function

Degrading v dehuman

Decomposed, demobilised, decapitated

De indicates a lack of something

ME: why are we talking about dehumanising?

The blood is human

Lack of feeling was inhuman – does not mean person not a human, more to do with lack of moral characteristics of human

We know what’s at stake

Schneider and Butcher use humanness rather than moral agency, this is a mistake

Use of language is more complicated than

Not simply GM or performance enhancing drugs that dehumanising, but also other entities

Dehumanise does not mean no longer human

Metaphysical used as basis for grounding moral judgements cannot work

ME: So humanness as personhood doesn’t help?

Bill: ‘a woman is less than a human, so I can do something to her that I would not do to a man’ often used to treat universal in principle vs universal in reach start with relevant similarities what it means to be human is certain relevant similarities

ME: but there are other considerations – rationing, for example, but not only. Dignity functions in a contested manner when dealing with PVS – where one has to assume interest (UK law substituted judgement)

Bill: Rawls: suffering – of course occasion sensitive

Jim: Do animals suffer? What is a supplement? Difference between sup and dope? How classify things on earth? Birds, fish, mammals. Difference between a definition and a clarification of a term. What Schneider and butcher get wrong is that their conceptual analysis is that they think necessary and sufficient conditions define humans – that last bit is wrong!

Leon: Do not need to go to specifics of a case

ME: how specific is a case? What constitutes a case?

ME: What if I am a giant?

Friday 1030-1200

Philosophy of Extreme Sports

Adventurous Changes: Rethinking sport in the age of the extreme Kevein Krein

Best – aesthetic sports – closer to extreme sport

Aesthetic sport and art difference is art = self expression, sport not

Booth – translate philosophy into movement Really?

Cannot represent such abstract ideas through surfing


Extreme correct term? -    death sport or high-risk?

ME: so is sport!

Concept of extreme diminishes with skill

Still a performance for others – but peers, not personal


The very act of being on the wave is the articulation of a philosophical or perhaps in the case of some sports an ideological premise, eg. Skateboarding and the urban (Dogtown).

Danger of relying on the athlete’s articulation of what they are.

The Intelligibility of Suits: Scott Kretchmar

Reply to Thompson, JPS

Thompson – utopia is conceptually incoherent, implodes because of own contradiction -    welll rid of it

suits is constrained utopia, but not coherent

Thompson -    in utopia, Suits says is no suffering, but in sport there is plenty

thompson’s concern about utopia

suits and play

suits agreed that ideal of existence revolves around those things the sake of which we do other things

suits accepts play as intrinsic, but interested in games

did not praise play over work

not like Huizinga

suits wanted to make a claim about games

utopia populated w activities like baseball and crosswords

game thesis, not play commitment that caught attention of skepticus

why only games?

Knowing what the game is

In utopia, Suits puts games on high normative pedestal -    effort and striving would no longer make sense

instrumentally free mode of living

games give us something to do when there is nothing to do (said the Grasshopper)

ant existence predicated on scarcity

for ants, often too much to do

grasshopper unimpressed w mandate of scarcity umoved my moral pressure of prudence

living life predicated on plenty, even if foolish

presents himself as future harbinger of….

For grasshopper, often too little to do

Suits: Game playing only remaining candidate for utopian occupation. Game playing makes utopia intelligible

Intrinsically valuable No further end Games meet this requirement Must have obstacles to overcome Game playing makes it possible

Argument fails because suits’ utopia is an ideal existence. Needs all intstrum activities save one do not exist

If one is living in bliss, who cares if there is nothing to do?

Cannot be a place where all needs have been met, though work meets a logical conclusion – human basic needs met But larger problem of boredom is left

Suis conclusion that there is nothing to do must be false

Problem w Suits ‘nothing to do’ He actually means, no probs to solve – work/natural probs

Having no probs to solve does not mean nothing to do

Countless things left to do – eg eating, listening to music, sitting in sun, etc

Suits does not answer question by Prudence and Skepticus – why free from work = games

Why liken to game playing rather than trumbone playing?

Suits has only shown us that nothing to do relating to problem solving, not that there is nothing to do

We are inherently problem solving creatures and he neglects this

Partial answers from anthrop -    contemporary human beings are product of millions of years of successful problem solving ancestors met obstacles

lesser problem solvers died off

good problem solvers populate t earth

Suits: many of us are in game denial!

Article 6yrs after grasshopper -    utopia need not be tiddley winks, but grandiose games Suits leaves us w questions about future.. -    utopia comprised as intrinsically satisfied games might be bleak or beautiful, but need to address

humans are made game ready

The Devoted Athlete: An Examination of Seriousness in Competitive Sport Peter Hager, SUNY

330-5pm Friday

Mark Hamilton

LASIK – shown to be beneficial for baseball Tommie John surgery – UCL 10% better for all baseball players -    when elective? – but wasit?

ME: why doesn’t  it happen?


ME: but contingent on physician position

ME: Why care? -    if medical standard, no issue – except diminished autonomy which we cannot possibly pursue

should it be banned?

ME: can it be banned? No, because first outside of sport too

Transsexuals -    Renee Richards – see reassignment surgery 1975 -    1976 US open denied access -    1977 US supreme court ruled in favour

USPGA on ladies prohibits -    Charlotte Wood, finished 3rd 1987 -    Led to ‘female at birth’ clause intro

3 options - let them (transhuman – Julien Huxley - surgical analogous to equipment changes

Anger Jeff Fry

Execessively high display of anger leads to aggressive play

ME: doesn’t anger/aggression win games?

Aristotlte: man angry at right things should be praised, if not angry, coward, etc – slavish

Robert Thurman

Coaching anger relevance? -    caring deeply? -    Justifiable – if injustice – eg cheating by officials -    Pressures coaches face

Anything in sport worth getting angry about?

Why coach?

What is appropriate display of anger?

Can debate value of anger

Donald Jones? – role-differentiated ethics -    take into account special circums

coaches cultivate passion

ME:: but is thi a flaw?

ME: compare w politician – should they get angry

Suits Doug McLaughlin

Elucidation on game playing for understanding utopian lure

3 aspects - utopia - lusory att as unifying aspect of game playing - dream and vision of grasshopper

purpose of grasshopper -    utopia -    theory of games

formulation of games not most important aspect

game v the good life

relationship between games and utopia

grasshopper -    life most worth living -    not exemplar of game playing

we find significance in problem solving -    utopia wout problems would not be a utopia

Thompson article -    does not recog move from play to game playing in suits

Fair is Fair, or is it? Bill Morgan

Both dopers and dopers claim they make the playing field level They are both wrong

Rawls -    justice as reciprocity

doping is a moral offence that affects fairness

WADA and USADA within moral rights to test, but recent efforts they have made are also unfair and morally problematic

Deep seated complex moral problem and looking for easy technical fix

Elliott Better than Well – double standard – we expect athletes not to take drugs, but not in everyday life

Drug rules are not constitutive – not athletically relevant

2 kinds of rule violation - offensive: break rule to gain adv - defensive: occur when v little compliance w rules. Break rules to protect oneself

not persuasive

2 problems

1.    protecting self-interest, no concern about fairness, main concern is not being taken adv of – not being a sucker 2.    everyone’s doing, so ok for me to do it

v difficult to know how many athletes are doping

from 5% to 95% but who knows?

Significant number who don’t dope

Cannot assume that all are, so looks like offensive rather than defensive rule violation

Idea that everyone’s doing it means overestimating no of people doing it, so am overestimating my reaction

Doping claim to level playing field does not work, so authorities have moral right to test

What about WADA and USADA? Fair?

Standard way is drug test -    objectve, impartial, at first glance

devil in detail

1.    even though tests are getting better, still easy to get around test. 2.    False positives as well as false negatives (Tyler Hamilton)

Only people who get caught are dumb or unlucky

Biowash – shampoo

Flush mouth solution

Urinator –

Whizzinator – prosthetic penis (ME: see article in endnote)

Analytic techniques largely failed

Crackdown by legal

Balco – coop w criminal courts

Michelle Collins – never tested positive disqualified for 8 years

Non-analytic attempts along with analytic

Gary Wadler – favourable article on WADA, they willl catch dopers and standardised rules across sports. New world order ‘commiteed to fair play and ethical values’

Not so!


WADA has changed burden of proof -    to comfortable satisfaction

raises social justice issue

treating similar cases dissimilarly

violation of mutual reciprocity

ME: but they could not win – burden of proof was too high

Justification has been ‘righteous indignation’

American Arbitration has resisted, but not for much longer

Classic problem of fairness

Not a concern for moral integrity of sport

Problem 2:

Circumstantial criminal cases against dopers

Criminalisation of street drugs and doping -    difference is that former kill each other

dopers will rat each other out

end up with Hobbesian all against all


ME: what is a designer drug? – a product that never made the market, but is in the journals


Three approaches to Pain in Sport – a critical review Sigmund Loland


Phenomenon of pain -    significance in sport – ethical challenges -    ambiguous – epistemological crossroads

a critical review and comparison of 3 ideal-typical approaches

research strategies