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Soccer and Philosophy: Beautiful Thoughts on the Beautiful Game [Paperback]

Ted Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 8 2010 Popular Culture and Philosophy (Book 51)
This collection of incisive articles gives a leading team of international philosophers a free kick toward exploring the complex and often hidden contours of the world of soccer. What does it really mean to be a fan (and why should we count Aristotle as one)? Why do great players such as Cristiano Ronaldo count as great artists (up there alongside Picasso, one author argues)? From the ethics of refereeing to the metaphysics of bent (like Beckham) space-time, this book shows soccer fans andphilosophy buffs alike new ways to appreciate and understand the world's favorite sport.

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"A soccer book like no other! At last we know which team Nietzsche would have supported, and why people care so much about the sport. This books is a delight, and it taught me more philosophy than I learned in my entire time at university." --SIMON KUPER, co-author of Soccernomics "Soccer and Philosophy captures the essence of our wonderful sport, its transcendental qualitites, and explains why we care so deeply and maddeningly about twenty-two players and a ball." --STEVEN GOFF, Washington Post "A fascinating and insightful read for thoughtful fans of the Beautiful Game. If you want to delve deeper into the inner workings of the world's most popular sprot, Soccer and Philosophy is a must have." --NICK WEBSTER, commentator for Fox Soccer Channel and host of Fox Football Fone-In "This volume will be enjoyed by those who have a passion for philosophy or football or both. Its distinctions and judgments will also be argued with endlessly. I got a great kick out of Soccer and Philosophy." --ERIC SCHLIESSER, support of AFC Ajax and Holland, and Professor of Philosophy, Ghent University "Soccer and Philosophy is a passionate exploration of the meaning of soccer seen through the eyes of some of the greatest thinkers. Whether you're a player, a coach, a soccer mom, a referee, or a fan, this is a must read book." --ETHAN ZOHN, Winner of Survivor: Africa and co-founder of Grassroots Soccer "Ted Richards, the Special One of philosophy, has assembled a dream team for this volume. Combining the defensive tenacity of the Italians with the precision teamwork of the Germans and the individual brilliance of the Brazilians, the authors offer total philosophy. Soccer and Philosophy is the best thinking person's guide to the Beautiful Game." --ALAN RICHARDSON, Stoke City supporter and Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia "What does Plato have to do with Pele? How is Ronaldo like Picasso? What makes a team truly great? Soccer and Philosophy will help you understand and enjoy the sport in deeper ways, whether you're a causual fan or a true futbol fanatic." --MICHAEL W. AUSTIN, Kansas City Wizards fan and editor of Football and Philosophy: Going Deep From the Wall Street Journal: "... inspired ... delightfully instructive ... a surprising colleciton of essays on the Beautiful Game, written by soccer-loving loonies who are real-life philosophers ... there is something for everyone in this witty and scholarly book."--John Heilpern

About the Author

Ted Richards teaches at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read on Soccer March 12 2011
This is a great read and great value for anyone who enjoys the beautiful game. Unlike a lot of soccer books, this one doesn't focus on the game or the history of it. Instead, various authors comment on different aspects, provoking deeper thought about a lot of things that have been discussed almost ad nauseam in football circles for many years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves a dual location on philosophy and sports shelves July 9 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Soccer and Philosophy provides an unusual pairing: soccer notes by philosophers - and offers insights on ethics, metaphysics, and issues of beauty and form in the soccer environment. By blending philosophical principles and inquiry with soccer specifics, this will reach an audience not ordinarily attracted to philosophy books, and deserves a dual location on philosophy and sports shelves alike.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Whimsical and Cogent July 7 2010
By ImageMD - Published on
First, ignore the comments on the back cover. They are banal clichés (See Chapter 3: The Boy Done Good? Football's Clichés). I doubt the comments were written by people who actually finished the book.

Second, although this is a book about soccer, the analysis and conclusions may be applied to all sports. (See Chapter 8: What's Luck Got to do with it?).

Third, think about how sports overlap with life and demand the attendance of prominent politicians - to toss the first ball, etc. (See Chapter 24: When a Soccer Club Becomes a Mirror).

Fourth, think about how the officials on the field, in the ring or on the court influence the outcome of the game. (See Chapter 28: The Loneliness of the Referee).

Fifth, Consider whether prayer before, during or after the game influences its outcome. (Chapter 29: God is not a Referee)

This enumeration of thoughts about soccer could to go on without end, just like a 0 to 0 soccer game, requiring a shoot out (see Chapter 27: It's a Lottery!: Penalties and the Meaning of Winning). Oh, did I tell you about the wonderful creative writing in Chapter 26: Kierkegaard at the Penalty Spot?

This is a wonderful, whimsical and cogent book for soccer fans and soccer players, particularly those who enjoyed their philosophy courses in college. The book has multiple authors with uneven writing, but the good writers more than make up for the others.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great collection! May 29 2010
By ThrowerGB - Published on
What a great book! A collection of different philosophical treatments of the beautiful game from the sublime to the humorous. And just in time for the World Cup too!
4.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful Aug. 28 2013
By Ron Schwartz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some of the essays are a little lengthy for my taste but this is still a very good book. Gives some very insightful thoughts on the beautiful game.
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and instructive analysis May 16 2013
By Edwardo Santos - Published on
It seems to me that an entirely sports person's appreciation of this book would be different from that of the philosophically inclined. There is much in it, however, to arouse the interest of someone like me who, as a follower of soccer, is also familiar with some philosophical topics. What I like about this book is the way in which such topics as miracle, morally right actions, chance and God are tackled in simple language and made relevant to the soccer fan. Kirk McDermid's discussion of miracle and Mohammed Majeed's analysis of the logic and nature of chance and religion are beautiful.
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