The Philosophy of Common Sense and Ethics in Sports

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Final Essay Questions

During the course of the semester, we have spent a great deal of time discussing sports from a variety of angles. For our final essay, I would like to give you the opportunity to explore sports in a critical and analytical manner. Explore the issue of sports by addressing one of the following questions.

1.Define sports. Provide an articulate, thorough, well-thought definition of sports and explain why your definition is an accurate one.

2.Remember the following quote from the course syllabus: “The fun of writing a column about sports is that, much of the time, you aren’t really writing about sports at all. You’re writing about what might be called the commonsense ethics of everyday life. Games are about who won, who lost and how. But they’re also about what’s right, what’s wrong and why.” (Thomas Boswell) Using examples from the readings and your own research, explain how sports are really about the commonsense ethics of everyday life.

3.In the article, “Sports Are More than Reflections of Society,” the author, Jay Coakley writes, “people can change sports or keep them the way they are. In fact, it is even possible for people to create and define sports in ways that differ from or even defy dominant ideas and norms and, in the process, to turn sports into sites for the transformation of the very culture of which they are a part.” Using examples from the reading and your research, discuss how people create and define sports and how sports have transformed culture.

4.In this course we have discussed and observed the impact of various factors, such as racism, politics, the economy, and urban decline on sports in various settings from the 1960s to the 1990s. Discuss one social factor that you believe has had the most significant impact on sports in the last four decades. (Note: Steroid Use is not a social factor.)

5.Create a topic of your choice. This must be approved by the instructor.


Requirements: This assignment has a minimum four-page requirement and maximum of five pages. Cite all sources using MLA format. You will be expected to three of the many on-line sources provided.

The goal here is to demonstrate what you have learned during the course of the semester, as well as your ability to critically analyze a subject that is familiar to all of us.