Ryall, E. (2016) Philosophy of Sport: Key Questions. London: Bloomsbury.

philosophy of sport key questionsPhilosophy of Sport: Key Questions provides an accessible and comprehensive guide to the philosophy of sport. Each chapter is framed by a question that explores the main issues, ideas and literature in the field ranging from questions about the nature and value of sport, the sporting body, aesthetics and ethics. Students are given the opportunity to consider significant debates in the philosophy of sport and each chapter is supplemented by independent study questions. Each section also contains short insightful interviews with eminent scholars in order to give a broader understanding of the history and development of the subject.

The main themes covered within this text include: the nature of sport; sport and the body; aesthetics and the aesthetic value of sport; a consideration of fair play, rules and the ethos of sport; the nature of competition; the application and effect of technology on sport and introductions to contemporary ethical issues such as doping, violence, disability, patriotism, elitism and sexual equality, as well as a broader reflection on the connection between sport and moral development.

MacLean, M. Russell, W. and Ryall, E. (2015) Philosophical Perspectives on Play. London: Routledge.

9781138841437Philosophical Perspectives on Play builds on the disciplinary and paradigmatic bridges constructed between the study of philosophy and play in The Philosophy of Play(Routledge, 2013) to develop a richer understanding of the concept and nature of play and its relation to human life and value. Made up of contributions from leading international thinkers and inviting readers to explore the presumptions often attached to play and playfulness, the book considers ways that play in ‘virtual’ and ‘real’ worlds can inform understandings of each, critiquing established norms and encouraging scepticism about the practice and experience of play.

Organised around four central themes — play(ing) at the limits, aesthetics, metaphysics/ontology and ethics — the book extends and challenges notions of play by drawing on issues emerging in sport, gaming, literature, space and art, with specific attention paid to disruption and danger. It is intended to provide scholars and practitioners working in the spheres of play, education, games, sport and related subjects with a deeper understanding of philosophical thought and to open dialogue across these disciplines.

Ryall, E., Russell, W. and MacLean, M. (2013) The Philosophy of Play. London: Routledge.

41IH68IpYEL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This is the first edited collection of articles on philosophical issues in play. It begins with conceptual questions about the nature of play, before considering what various philosophers (such as Plato, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Sartre, Deluze and Gadamer) had to say about it. The final section is dedicated to applied issues within play faced by parents, play-workers, children and adult gamers.

“The Philosophy of Play is an excellent and comprehensive anthology of play, and also makes a profound contribution to the field.” (Rasmussen, T. 2014: 245)

“I would recommend this to any scholar of play or philosophy, and sincerely hope those involved in the use of space, in risk, in mental health and in education will also take an interest. To play physically or mentally, with a chess set, a ball or in conversation, is (paraphrasing the authors represented throughout The philosophy of play) to be fully human.” (Prisk, C. 2013: 155)

“[B]y accommodating various metaphysical, epistemological, ontological, and ethical perspectives on play, the editors have done an excellent job illustrating the expansiveness of the field whilst still highlighting a number of specific issues relevant to contemporary philosophies of play. In a way the collection contains something for anyone interested in the subject of play, whether it is children’s play, game play, or language play, it is a kind of ‘grab-bag’ containing numerous short, yet thoughtful, and well written, philosophical explorations of play.” (Pedri, J. 2014: 413-415)

Ryall, E. (2010) Critical Thinking for Sports Students. Exeter: Learning Matters.

51r02wO72YL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The capacity to think critically is essential for success in sport courses in higher education. Critical Thinking for Sports Students provides all those involved in the study of sport with the tools to assess, construct, and present arguments and to analyse and evaluate material. The emphasis is on the application of critical thinking in the form of written arguments, discussion, and negotiation. Throughout, the text and examples are presented within the context of sport, helping students to more easily apply their learning to their subject area.

“Critical Thinking for Sports Students is an excellent addition to the Active Learning in Sport series. This book ought to be adopted as a required text for students pursuing undergraduate studies in sport. Though this book is geared towards students, it is well worth reading by lecturers teaching on undergraduate and graduate courses and by the general reader interested in developing good thinking.” (Edwards, 2011: 462)