Knowing the ScoreNPR coverage of Knowing the Score: What Sports Can Teach Us About Philosophy (and What Philosophy Can Teach Us About Sports) by David Papineau. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
"In Knowing the Score, philosopher David Papineau explores what philosophy can teach us about sports, and what sports can teach us about philosophy. Beginning with various sporting questions and challenges, Papineau digs into modern philosophy's most perplexing questions. For instance, he discusses drafting techniques in cycling to shed new light on questions of altruism, and examines cricket family "dynasties" to help broaden the debate over nature v. nurture. When Papineau began writing this book, he thought he could illuminate sports by viewing it through a philosophical lens. But the more he wrote, the more he realized that it was the other way around - the study of sports clarifies, challenges, and sometimes confuses crucial issues in philosophy. Why do sports competitors choke? How can Roger Federer select which shot to play in 400 milliseconds? Why do fans think God will favor their team over their rivals? Why does motor racing, but not football, run in families? How can it be moral to deceive theumpire by framing a pitch? From all of these questions, and many more, philosophy has a great deal to learn. An entertaining and and erudite book that ranges far and wide through the sporting world, Knowing the Score is perfect reading for armchair philosophers and Monday morning quarterbacks alike"—