Books November 2017
A sporting thought
A review of Knowing the Score: What Sports Can Teach Us About Philosophy (And What Philosophy Can Teach Us About Sports) by David Papineau.
The attractions of Knowing the Score, David Papineau’s collection of essays about sports and philosophy, are foreshadowed by the witty cover of its U.S. edition, which reproduces, and riffs on, a detail from Raphael’s School of Athens. It shows Plato and Aristotle, the fresco’s two central figures. Aristotle extends a hand toward the viewer; Plato points an index finger gracefully to the heavens, and on its tip is balanced a spinning basketball.
Papineau is a well-known academic philosopher and an enthusiastic amateur athlete with an ecumenical interest in sports. After agreeing to speak in a run-up conference to the 2012 London Olympics, he became unsatisfied with his attempts at writing a “typical” philosophy of sports lecture, one...
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