Why do sports competitors choke? How can Roger Federer select which shot to play in 400 milliseconds? Should foreign-born footballers be eligible to play for England? Why do opposing professional cyclists help each other? Why do American and European golfers hate each other? Why does test cricket run in families? Why is punching tolerated in rugby but not in soccer?
These may not look like philosophical questions, but David Papineau shows that under the surface they all raise long-standing philosophical issues. To get to the bottom of these and other sporting puzzles, we need help from metaphysics or ethics, or from the philosophy of mind or political philosophy, as well as numerous other philosophical disciplines.
Knowing the Score will be an entertaining, fact-filled and erudite book that ranges far and wide through the sporting world. As a prominent philosopher who is also an enthusiastic amateur sportsman and omnivorous sports fan, David Papineau is uniquely well-placed to show how philosophy can illuminate sporting issues. By bringing his philosophical expertise to bear, he will add a new dimension to the way we think about sport.
‘A tour de force that provides fresh insight not only into the nature of sport, but cooperation, the mind, altruism, teamwork, leadership, tribalism and ritualism. It’s a book that every sports fan should read, and every sports writer should absorb’ Matthew Syed
‘David Papineau’s book is an important contribution to our thinking about sports, society, psychology, and moral philosophy. But it is also much more than that. Gripping from start to finish, it is a terrific read full of humour and good sense. You don’t even have to like sports to enjoy it’ Ian Buruma