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Hamilton College: Ethics of Sports: Do Sports Morally Matter?

Explore ethical issues in sports, including the value of winning, violence in sports, and intercollegiate athletics and their impact on education.
2 weeks
3–4 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule

About this course

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While sport sometimes is dismissed as frivolous, it not only raises fundamental ethical questions, such as what counts as fair play, but is an important cultural phenomenon attracting the interests of millions of people around the globe. Love sports or hate them, their cultural role or influence cannot easily be dismissed.

In this course, we will explore some of the fundamental ethical issues raised by sport, ranging from investigation of the nature of sports to see what values, if any, sports do and should promote and the educational significance of sports especially in higher education in the U.S, violence in sports, gender equity in sports, and the ethics of using performance enhancing drugs.

We hope that through brief lectures on videos, hearty debate in the discussion board, interactive media, and some selected readings to promote not only better understanding of the ethics of sport, but also appreciation for the role of reasoned discourse in advancing our understanding of ethical issues and how to approach them.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Debating, Influencing Skills, Interactive Media, Addressing Ethical Concerns

What you'll learn

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  • Acquire analytic tools to evaluate ethical issues in sports
  • Examine the importance of winning and value of athletic competition
  • Explore opposing arguments on drugs, violence, and equity in sports
  • Consider whether sports undermine or enhance education
  • Use critical reasoning to evaluate different sides of issues fairly

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