Sports, Virtues and Vices: Morality Plays

1st Edition

Mike McNamee

Published May 8, 2008
Reference - 236 Pages
ISBN 9780415194099 - CAT# RU49440

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Sports have long played an important role in society. By exploring the evolving link between sporting behaviour and the prevailing ethics of the time this comprehensive and wide-ranging study illuminates our understanding of the wider social significance of sport.   


The primary aim of Sports, Virtues and Vices is to situate ethics at the heart of sports via ‘virtue ethical’ considerations that can be traced back to the gymnasia of ancient Greece. The central theme running through the book is that sports are effectively modern morality plays: universal practices of moral education for the masses and - when coached, officiated and played properly - a valuable vehicle for ethical development.


Including a wealth of contemporary sporting examples, the book explores key ethical issues such as:

  • How the pursuit of sporting excellence can lead to harm
  • Doping, greed and shame
  • Biomedical technology as a challenge to the virtue of elite athletes
  • Defining a ‘virtue ethical account’ in sport
  • Family vices and virtues in sport

Written by one of the world's foremost sports philosophers, this book powerfully unites the fields of sports ethics and medical ethics. It is essential reading for all students and scholars with an interest in the ethics and philosophy of sport.


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