These are my recent and past speaking engagements. If you would like me to present a talk to a particular audience then please contact me via the contact details found on the home page.

Public Talks and Presentations

LSE: Forum for European Philosophy – Football

Panellist alongside Simon Critchley and Gerald Moore, London School of Economics, London, June 2018

Selection in Sport under a Veil of Ignorance

Keynote speaker at the British Philosophy of Sport Conference, Swansea, March 2018

Good Games as Athletic Beauty: Why Football is Rightly Called ‘The Beautiful Game’

Keynote speaker at ‘The Beautiful Game: Aesthetics and Poetics of Soccer’, Basel, Switzerland, June 2016

Managing Your Reputation Before Your Reputation Becomes Your Legacy

Invited panelist for the SportAccord Convention, Sochi, Russia. April 2015

Is Technology Undermining the Value of Sport?

Invited speaker to the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, April 2015.

Monsters, Mutants and Mistaken Metaphors: Why our fears about genetic technology in sport are unfounded.

Invited speaker to Kings College London: Philosophy, Medicine and Sport Lecture Series, March 2015

Solving or Resolving? Approaching Ethics Through Wittgenstein.

Invited speaker to the Gloucestershire Philosophy Society, Cheltenham, October 2014

Good Games and Penalty Kicks.

Keynote Speaker at the Aesthetics of Football Symposium (sponsored by the British Society of Aesthetics), University of Kent, Canterbury, June 2014

Doping in Sport

Chair along with Endocrinologist, Professor Richard Holt and Drug scientist, Professor David Cowan. Cheltenham Science Festival, June 2014.

Has Cheating Ruined Sport?

Battle of Ideas Festival, London, October 2013.

Why A Coach Should Not Seek To Develop A Virtuous Character In Athletes: A Response To Hardman And Jones.

International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, Los Angeles, USA, September 2013.

Playing with Words: Further Comment on Suits’ Definition.

Invited speaker to Philosophy Research Group, Aarhus University, Denmark, October 2012.

To What Extent Should Coaches Allow Athletes to Put Themselves in Danger in Sporting Situations?

Invited speaker to Aarhus University, Denmark, October 2012.

Game Playing as the Ideal of Existence: Suits, Utopia and the Singularity.

This paper considers Bernard Suits’ conception of utopia in The Grasshopper and in the light of some implications when applied to Ray Kurzweil’s ideas on technological development in The Singularity.

International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, Porto, Portugal, September 2012.

Prosthetic Technology and Athletic Enhancement: Blurring the Human/Nonhuman Divide and What it Means for Elite Sport.

This was a symposium which I chaired and presented as part of the ICSEMIS pre-Olympic science convention in Glasgow, along with Dr Carl Thomen (Victoria University) and Dr Leon Culbertson (Edge Hill).

ICSEMIS, Glasgow. June 2012.

Coaching as a Moral Enterprise: Reflective Practice and Experimental Philosophy

This was part of the ICSEMIS pre-Olympic science convention held in Glasgow and was a symposium with Dr Carwyn Jones (Cardiff Met) and Dr Alun Hardman (Cardiff Met).

ICSEMIS, Glasgow. June 2012.

Conceptual Issues with Technology: Fairness and Advantage.

Cardiff University Research Series, February 2012.

What is the value of athletic performance in an age of technological advancement?

This talk was part of the Royal Institute of Philosophy’s London Lecture Series on the Philosophy of Sport and considered the limits to human athletic performance and whether the premium we place upon events such as the men’s 100m Olympic final can be justified? Issues covered included the logical limits to performance, the impact of enhancement technologies, and the nature and value of sport.

Royal Institute of Philosophy, London

Drugs and Bionics: Enhancing Sport?

This was a panel debate on technology, performance enhancement and fairness in sport as part of the Battle of Ideas festival.

Battle of Ideas, Royal College of Art, London

A Coach’s Dilemma: Sanctioning Risk and Ensuring Safety

This was a paper presented at an IPR inter-disciplinary conference, Sports Coaching: Past and Futures, and considered the role of the coach in allowing their athletes to participate in dangerous sporting activities.

Sports and Coaching: Past and Futures, MMU Crewe, UK

More Wordplay: Further thoughts on Suits’ definition.

This paper considers Suits definition of ‘play’ in his 1977 paper ‘Words on Play’ and Morgan’s response to it in 2008.

Philosophy at Play Conference, Cheltenham, 2011.

Drawing the line on Doping

This was a public engagement event sponsored by Podium, the HE unit for the London 2012 Olympics, with Professor Mike McNamee, Professor Verner Moller and Dr Alun Hardman on the ethics of doping in sport. More information can be found on our Facebook group.

Beyond Human: Conceptualising the Athlete in a Future of Sport and Technology

This talk considered what the athlete might look like with developments in technology, particularly prosthetic technology, and what it would mean for the concept of ‘fairness’ in sport.

The Gloucestershire Philosophical Society, Cheltenham, UK.

What is the Philosophy of Sport?

This talk gave an overview of philosophical questions particular to sport to a group of 6th form philosophy and ethics students.

Cheltenham Ladies College, Cheltenham, UK.

Being-for-others in sport: feelings of pride, shame, contempt and respect

As I have argued previously (Ryall 2008), sport seems to provide an area whereby the nature of being is intensely illuminated, for we are always aware that the meaning we ascribe to sport is arbitrarily defined and freely chosen. And yet at the same time, the nature of sport means that it is a stage on which the choices we make are wholly visible, and the emotions of pride and shame, contempt and respect (of varying degrees) are common. It is the arena whereby the struggle for dominance is acute. As such, this paper will consider whether Sartre’s notion of ‘the look’ exposes the problem of these emotions and the way we view ourselves and others in sport.

Presented at BPSA, March 2010, Cardiff University

There’s No Such Thing as a Sport Science

Following on from Peter Winch’s seminal work ‘The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy’ and Hutchinson’s, Read’s and Sharrock’s recent publication ‘There’s no Such Thing as a Social Science’ this paper attempts to argue that the notion of a sport science falls into the same category that Winch was criticising.

Presented at the BPSA conference, March 2009, Dundee, Scotland.

Sport as a Form of Development Aid

This paper questions the value and rationale behind using sport as a panacea to solve problems in developing nations and asks whether it is just another form of ‘muscular Christianity’.

Presented at EAPS, May 2008, Aarhus, Denmark and IAPS, September 2008, Tokyo, Japan.

What’s Wrong with the Idea of an Embodied Athlete?

This paper considers Ramachandran’s (1998) proposal that the embodied self is merely an illusion and what the implications would be for sport, and disability sport in particular.

Presented at IAPS, September 2007, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Defining the Human: Philosophical and Ethical Issues in a Posthuman Age.

This lecture considered the effect of technology on the concept of human. Topics covered included the implications of the Turing test, the construction of humanoids, and the idea that humans have already transgressed the ‘post-human’ boundaries.

Invited speaker for the Qualitative Research Unit, University of Exeter, May 2007, Exeter, UK

Defining the Human (II): Separating Mind and Body and Avoiding Category Mistakes.

This paper considers the role that metaphor plays in producing particular pictures of the world. It draws upon Gilbert Ryle’s notion of a category-mistake to elucidate the problems arising in our language of genetic technology.

Presented at BPSA, March 2007, Leeds, UK

Defining the Human: On reaching an ethical judgment about genetic technology in sport.

This paper explores the problems associated with defining what it is to be human as it is this concept upon which many of the ethical debates surrounding the application of genetic technology to humans rest.

Presented at BPSA, May 2006, Cardiff, UK

Being-on-the-bench: Bad faith or towards authenticity?

This paper considers the role of the substitute in sport from an Existential perspective with a focus upon ‘Bad Faith’ and ‘Authenticity’.

Presented at IAPS, September 2005, Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Approaching Ethics: A Wittgenstenian Method.

This paper focuses upon the Wittgensteinian notion of ‘attitude’ in order to provide an alternative method which with to approach ethical issues.

Presented at Research Student Conference, May 2005, Bedford, UK

Whereof what one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent: A Wittgensteinian perspective on genetic technology in sport.

This paper takes a Wittgensteinian stance in attempting to (re)solve the ethical issue of genetic technology in sport.

Presented at IAPS, September 2004, Texas, USA

Using Sport as a Political Instrument

This paper focuses upon the question of who should be making the moral decisions on the participation of athletes in politically sensitive sporting events.

Presented at BPSA, June 2004, Cheltenham, UK

Genetic Modification in Sport: A Wittgensteinian perspective

This paper takes a Wittgensteinian stance in attempting to (re)solve the ethical issue of genetic technology in sport.

Presented at Research Student Conference, May 2004, Bedford, UK

Are Philosophers Merely Playing Games?

This paper questions the assumption that (professional) philosophy is a useful and fruitful pursuit that shows real progress in human ontology.

Presented at IAPS, September 2003, Cheltenham, UK