Daniel Weinstock: “Should business dictate the business of rule change in sport?”

In this inaugural talk in the 2012 Business Ethics Speakers’ Series, McGill University philosopher Daniel Weinstock will examine the ethical dimensions of rule change in the world of professional sport.
The presentation will take place Friday, September 28, 2012, from 12:00 to 1:15 pm, at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, located at 55 Dundas West, in room TRS 3-119.
There is no cost, but please register if you plan to attend, as space is limited. Also, a light lunch will be served and accurate numbers will help with planning.

Rule change is a common occurrence in organized sport. This presentation will delineate four sources of change. Some changes seek to bring the sport closer to some “essence” or “spirit” of the sport that has purportedly been lost due, for example, to changing empirical circumstances. Some seek to plug “loopholes” that occur for example when athletes commit actions that are recognized by all to be contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of the rules. Some seek to protect the safety of athletes. Some changes seek to improve the saleability of the sport, and are thus governed by business considerations. There might be a tendency to accept the three former sources of change, but to view the latter with suspicion. I will argue that the situation is actually more complicated, in that, among other things, business-governed changes are already tacitly governed by a concern with the other values specified above, and second, in that some changes, which have as their goal to make sports more (for lack of a better word) spectacular, are not clearly distinct from considerations having to do with what I will have termed the essence of the sport.

For more information, contact:
Chris MacDonald, Ph.D.
Ted Rogers School of Management
416-979-5000 x6903

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