Academic versus Sporting Knowledge. Robert L. Simon and the Debate about Sports on Campus
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Artikler / Articles 
Original versionJournal of the Philosophy of Sport. 2016, 43, 61-74 10.1080/00948705.2015.1112241
Robert L. Simon is a sport philosopher with many interests. He is not only interested in advanced theoretical matters but in seemingly mundane affairs, such as the question about the role of sports on campus. The question may seem trivial, but it has implications not only for how we view sports and higher education, but also for how we value different forms of knowledge, relating to body as well as mind. Simon has written about sports on campus in several publications. He discussed intercollegiate athletics in the article ‘Does athletics undermine academics? Examining some issues’ in 2008. But the topic was already present as a chapter in the first edition of the Fair Play book in 1991, and then in the second edition in 2004. My discussion in the following is based on the latest edition of the Fair Play book from 2015, where Simon has Cesar Torres and Peter Hager as co-authors. In this edition the chapter on sports on campus is revised and updated with new examples, but where the trust of the arguments and the core views are the same as in earlier versions of the chapter. It is still Simon’s voice we hear. I will therefore in the following refer to Simon’s views, but without forgetting the co-authors. I will first present Simon’s views and then follow up with a short presentation of two other contributions to the same theme that have appeared in Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, namely Myles Brand: ‘The role and value of intercollegiate athletics’ from 2006 and Randolph Feezell: ‘Branding the role and value of intercollegiate athletics’ from 2015.1 I will end with a discussion of some of the central problems that have been raised and how recent contributions to the discussion of knowledge can open new perspectives.
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