Thursday, April 06, 2006

Football Philosophy

David Wall sent me a link to a philosophical football columnist:
The moral philosopher Professor Richard Norman is unequivocal. "Cheating raises a basic question about what the point of anything is. If the sole point is to win, then sport is turned into something else. You may as well call it the sport of attempting to deceive and it then becomes just a means whereby nations or localities gain advantage."
Claiming what is clearly not yours and pretending something has been done to you when it clearly hasn't reside in the same ball park. Not that Joe Jordan thinks so. "Contesting every decision is the beauty of the game. It is about looking to win the game and people who play in the mud on a Sunday do exactly the same." Joe takes the game to the moral philosopher by drawing a clear distinction between a priori and a posteriori reasoning. "Diving is different. That is players trying to manoeuvre the game to their advantage, whereas a throw-in is after the event."

I don't quite understand that last paragraph. Could someone who knows soccer better explain what's going on here, and what it has to do with a priori reasoning!?


  1. I'm pretty sure "diving" here means for a player to throw himself to the ground hoping to decieve the referee into thinking that a player of the other team has commited a foul against him. It is a form of cheating, of course, but one quite commonly practiced and seem by many players (it seems not including Joe Jordan) as a legitimate trick to use.

    I don't understand the contrast with a throw-in, which is putting back the ball into play when it has gone outside the limits of the playing field, and has no relation to cheating. But I am not too well acquainted with the football jaragon of English (as opposed to Spanish) so someone else should better confirm my words. I don't understand the connection with a priori and a posteriori reasoning either.

  2. The throw-in comment could be about trying to claim a throw-in for your team despite knowing it is actually the other team's.


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