Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dan Lloyd

Second Advisor

Drew Hyland


This thesis is an attempt to examine sports through the lens of philosophy with a particular focus on the multiple levels of sports experience. To break that sentence down, the philosophic part of the thesis is by not being comfortable with the easy answers when it comes to sports. So often when people think or talk about sports there is a wall of generally accepted answers and this is an attempt to hurdle that wall. The easy answers are more often than not simply the start of the questions. The multiple levels of sports refers to the fact that most people who engage with sports do not do so on any field of play, but rather are watching the sport. Thus the fan experience is one of importance, of course that does not mean that the playing experience is unimportant. In fact the fan experience only really becomes intelligible when the experience of play is understood. The thesis does all of this by examining some of the parts of human nature that are most deeply affected by sports, then using classical philosophical ideas about Tragedy and how those might apply to sports. Lastly the thesis briefly touches on why sports holds a unique place in society. Taken all together this is a modest attempt to understand why for so many so much depends upon sports.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.