Sports Ethics

A blog for Philosophy 2079F, Western University
London, Ontario, Canada
Professor Samantha Brennan

A study of moral issues in sports, including the relative fairness of performance enhancing drugs and techniques, cheating and deception, the role of violence in sports, and the connection between sports and the good life. Questions to be discussed include the following:

What is sportsmanship and why is it valuable? What role do athletic pursuits play in the good life? What makes cheating wrong? Should performance enhancing drugs ever be permissible in sport? Why don’t men and women compete against each other? When (if ever) should we perform sex tests on athletes? Should disabled athletes using adaptive technology be able to participate in sport at all levels? Do professional athletes deserve their salaries? Should children be allowed to play risky sports? When is government funding for sports justified? Are there any risks too great for athletes to take? What role should sports teams play in university life? What makes someone a good fan?