In this Book

Golf and Philosophy
summary
In a game where players are expected to call their own penalties and scoring the least points leads to victory, decorum takes precedence over showmanship and philosophical questions become par for the course. Few other sports are as suited for ethical and metaphysical examination as golf. It is a game defined by dichotomies—relaxing, yet frustrating, social, yet solitary—and between these extremes there is room for much philosophical inquiry. In Golf and Philosophy: Lessons from the Links, a clubhouse full of skilled contributors tee off on a range of philosophical topics within the framework of the fairway. The book’s chapters are arranged in the style of an eighteen-hole golf course, with the front nine exploring ethical matters of rationality and social civility in a world of moral hazards and roughs. The back nine pries even deeper, slicing into matters of the metaphysical, including chapters on mysticism, idealism, identity, and meaning. Taken together, the collection examines the intellectual nature of this beloved pastime, considering the many nuances of a sport that requires high levels of concentration, patience, and consistency, as well as upstanding moral character. Golf and Philosophy celebrates the joys and complexities of the game, demonstrating that golf has much to teach both its spectators and participants about modern life.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. pp. Front -i
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  1. Title Page
  2. pp. ii-iii
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  1. Copyright Page
  2. pp. iv-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. INTRODUCTION Warm-Up
  2. pp. 1-3
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  1. THE FRONT NINE
  2. pp. 4-5
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  1. I. The Beauty of the Game
  2. pp. 6-7
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  1. FIRST HOLE: GOLF AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY
  2. pp. 9-14
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  1. SECOND HOLE: ON THE BEAUTY AND SUBLIMITY OF GOLF
  2. pp. 15-30
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  1. II. Golf and Moral Character
  2. pp. 31-31
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  1. THIRD HOLE: FINDING THE (FAIR)WAY WITH CONFUCIUS AND BEN HOGAN
  2. pp. 33-48
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  1. FOURTH HOLE: “QUIET . . . PLEASE! ”
  2. pp. 49-63
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  1. Fifth Hole: How Golf Builds and Shapes Moral Character
  2. pp. 65-84
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  1. Sixth Hole: Virtue Ethics: From Caddyshack to Better Golf
  2. pp. 85-96
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  1. III. Ethical Issues within Golf
  2. pp. 97-97
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  1. Seventh Hole: Cheating and Gamesmanship among Amateur and Professional Golfers
  2. pp. 99-108
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  1. Eighth Hole: Playing Through? Racism and Sexism in Golf
  2. pp. 109-120
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  1. IV. Golf and Rationality
  2. pp. 121-121
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  1. NINTH HOLE: IS GOLF INHERENTLY IRRATIONAL?
  2. pp. 123-133
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  1. THE BACK NINE
  2. pp. 134-135
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  1. V. Personal Reflections
  2. pp. 136-137
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  1. TENTH HOLE: LIFE LESSONS
  2. pp. 139-153
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  1. VI. Golf, Mysticism, and Self-Understanding (Amen Corner)
  2. pp. 154-155
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  1. ELEVENTH HOLE: PHILOSOPHY IN THE KINGDOM
  2. pp. 157-170
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  1. TWELFTH HOLE: MIDROUND AND MIDLIFE DEFINING MOMENTS
  2. pp. 171-182
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  1. THIRTEENTH HOLE: FREE AND EASY WANDERING ON THE GOLF COURSE
  2. pp. 183-201
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  1. VII. Golf and Idealism
  2. pp. 193-193
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  1. FOURTEENTH HOLE: PLATO AND CONFUCIUS ON THE FORM OF GOLF
  2. pp. 195-207
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  1. FIFTEENTH HOLE: THE “IDEAL” SWING, THE “IDEAL” BODY
  2. pp. 209-220
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  1. VIII. Golf and Meaning
  2. pp. 221-221
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  1. SIXTEENTH HOLE: GOLF AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
  2. pp. 223-237
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  1. SEVENTEENTH HOLE: MORE THAN A PLAYING PARTNER
  2. pp. 239-251
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  1. IX. Parting Shots
  2. pp. 253-253
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  1. EIGHTEENTH HOLE: SWING THOUGHTS
  2. pp. 255-259
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  1. THE FIELD
  2. pp. 261-265
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  1. INDEX
  2. pp. 276-290
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