Philosophy of Sport at the APA

I’ve just recently started thinking philosophically about sports and I’ve written a paper in the area. I’m going to be presenting it at the Eastern meeting of the American Philosophical Association meeting in Atlanta this December.

Here’s the abstract:

Can Women be Cyclists? Thoughts on Bodies, Bicycles, and Feminism

This paper examines arguments about the suitability of women’s bodies for the activity and sport of cycling. The first part of this paper recaps the role the bicycle played in the women’s liberation movement and examines the arguments about women’s bodies put forth by the medical community which formed the basis of the anti-women’s cycling movement. While we might think ourselves beyond 19th century views of women’s bodies and their suitability for riding bikes, the second part of the paper seeks to look at some modern views of women’s cycling and shows that views about the differences between male and female bodies haven’t entirely left the ethos of cycling in particular in the area of racing. I also ask whether we might reinterpret some aspects of the ethos of cycling to encourage women’s participation in cycling and develop a more inclusive account of the activity so as to better capture the involvement of women in the sport of cycling.

Here’s the full line up:


GIV – 2. International Association for Philosophy of Sport

2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Chair: Joan Grassbaugh Forry (Linfield College)


Michael Brady (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale)

“Crossfit: A Pragmatic Philosophy of Sport”
Samantha Brennan (University of Western Ontario)”Can Women be Cyclists? Some Thoughts on Women’s Bodies, Bicycles, and Feminism”Michael Brownstein (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

“A Determination Bordering on Possession: Nondeliberative Agency and Expert Athletics”

Aaron Harper (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign)

“Playing with Nietzsche: Play, Nihilism, and Value Creation”