Normative authority in elite male tennis: a philosophical analysis

Sheridan, Heather P. (2002) Normative authority in elite male tennis: a philosophical analysis. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

[img]
Preview
Text (Final thesis)
Sheridan(2002)PHD_Final Thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (18MB) | Preview

Abstract

Tennis like any other practice undergoes challenges and revisions to its nature. A number of technical and technological innovations have recently been implemented and/or suggested by a variety of interested parties including the introduction of shorter sets and tie-breaker sets, and a revised tennis seeding structure. These innovations, if adopted, will represent a new instantiation of the game. Thus, determining how decisions concerning the future development of the game ought to be made and who ought to make those decisions is of great importance in terms of how fair the decision-making process is and whether the decisions are good for the game itself. In response to these problems we develop a normative account of "fair play" from Macintyre's (1985) nee-Aristotelian position, emphasising the importance of the internal goods, practices, and traditions of tennis, and that decisions ought to be made by those who have relevant experience or knowledge of the practice of elite male tennis. This account, however, fails to provide a decision-making method and is vulnerable to the criticism that it is inherently conservative. We consider three theses that might fill this lacunae and from which a rational decision-making method to evaluate technical and technological innovations in elite male tennis could be developed. First, we consider Rawls's (1971) method of "reflective equilibrium" which allows us to clarify issues, and is both systematic and democratic, but it is too far removed from actual sporting practices, their ethos, histories and traditions to have any normative force. Secondly, we consider Rawls's (1987) "overlapping consensus" model which is conscious of the political situatedness of decision-making but it is inadequate since the consensuses which it reaches might be based on criteria external to the norms of sporting practices. In order to ensure that the consensus reached is based on a critical consensus of the internal norms of sporting practices, we consider Walzer's (1983) thesis that cultural spheres have internal norms which must be respected and which are the basis for normative judgements about justice or goodness within that practice. This thesis is sympathetic to, yet critical of, the internal goods, practice, and traditions of elite male tennis, and that decisions ought to be made by those who have experience or knowledge of the practice of elite male tennis. We conclude the thesis by presenting a tradition-practice bound decision-making model that can be used to evaluate technical and technological innovations in elite male tennis which is transparent, democratic, and respectful of the traditions and internal norms of tennis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Mcnamee, Michaelmmcnamee@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elite male tennis; Normative authority; Philosophy of sport
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV861 Ball games: Baseball, football, golf, etc.
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Sport and Exercise > Applied Sport & Exercise Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Sport, Exercise, Health & Wellbeing
Depositing User: Alan Sparkes
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2018 12:34
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2018 12:34
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/5935

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.