Baseball is written and spoken of in modes nostalgic, heroic, analytic, patriotic, elegiac, and eulogistic, not to say tragical-comical-historical-pastoral. Much of that musing makes Alva Noë, a member of Berkeley’s philosophy department and lifelong baseball fan, “almost cringe.” Whatever mythos or virtues we might discover in a sport, it’s most likely that we love that sport by accident. We love what we grew up with.

Noë is fine with that. His short, engaging book Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark consists of brief topical essays grouped thematically into sections such as “Baseball Memories” and “In Praise of Being Bored.” Most were written for the now-defunct npr blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.

 

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