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Tennis smashed onto the worldwide athletic scene soon after its modern rules and equipment were introduced in nineteenth-century England. Exciting, competitive, and uniquely accessible to people of all ages and talent levels, tennis continues to enjoy popularity, both as a recreational activity and a spectator sport.
Life imitates sport in Tennis and Philosophy. Editor David Baggett approaches tennis not only as a game but also as a surprisingly rich resource for philosophical analysis. He assembles a team of champion scholars, including David Foster Wallace, Robert R. Clewis, David Detmer, Mark Huston, Tommy Valentini, Neil Delaney, and Kevin Kinghorn, to consider numerous philosophical issues within the sport. Profiles of tennis greats such as John McEnroe, Roger Federer, the Williams sisters, and Arthur Ashe are paired with pertinent topics, from the ethics of rage to the role of rivalry. Whether entertaining metaphysical arguments or examining the nature of beauty, these essays promise insightful discussion of one of the world’s most popular sports.
David Baggett, professor of philosophy at Liberty University, is co-editor of Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts and Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics.
“Tennis and Philosophy is a unique book with entertaining and insightful discussions of the beauty, ethics, and competitive nature of the sport. This book should be read by players as well as fans of tennis who want to deepen their appreciation of the sport.”—Michael W. Austin, editor of Football and Philosophy: Going Deep
Tennis volleyed onto the worldwide athletic scene soon after its modern rules and equipment were introduced in nineteenth-century England. Exciting, competitive, and uniquely accessible to people of all ages and levels of talent, tennis continues to enjoy popularity, as both a recreational activity and a spectator sport. Each year, millions of fans around the world tune in to the Grand Slam championships to witness the intense drama and fierce rivalries of the game.
“Tennis and Philosophy features writing by university-based philosophers who really love thinking about tennis. While their professional familiarity is with the likes of Immanuel Kant, Alasdair MacIntyre, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Zeno and schools of thought from formalism to stoicism, they also appear comfortable as fans debating the legacy of Arthur Ashe (to whom the book is dedicated) as well as the beauty of Anna Kournikova, the burnout of Andrea Jaeger, and, of course, why tennis matters.”—Kent Oswald, Tennisnew.com
“Let the debate continue and the brain games begin.”—Michael Mewshaw, insidetennis.com
“The contributions are proficient yet entertaining, and show an appreciation for tennis. The essays serve as a refresher course in philosophical thought and offer a different spin than one usually finds in sports studies.”—Science & Technology
“The essays serve as a refresher course in philosophical thought and offer a different spin than one usually finds in sports studies.”—Choice
“It is one that will likely be enjoyable enough for non-philosophers that it can be recommended as a kind of popular culture that will hopefully create added interest in philosophy without misrepresenting its status as an academic discipline.”—Scott Woodcock
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Baggett, David, "Tennis and Philosophy: What the Racket is All About" (2010). Philosophy. 1.