The love, study, and
pursuit of wisdom,
knowledge, and truth
Five Traditional Philosophies
Idealism — a philosophical theory advocating that reality
depends on the mind for existence and that truth is
universal and absolute
Realism — the philosophical system stressing that the
laws and order of the world as revealed by science are
independent from human experiences
Pragmatism — an American movement in philosophy
emphasizing reality as the sum total of each individual’s
experiences through practical experimentation
Naturalism — a belief that the laws of nature govern life
and that individual goals are more important than societal
Existentialism — a twentieth-century philosophy that
centers on individual choices and advocates that truth and
values are uniquely personal
Since reasoning and mental processes are
important in understanding truth, the physical
therapist uses idealism in working with clients
to set realistic goals, persist in their movement
experiences, and realize that only by dealing
with temporary discomfort can they recover as
fully as possible.
The idealist and the sport psychologist
understand that reality is more mental than
physical, so helping elite athletes manage the
mental side of putting a golf ball or kicking a
field goal is vitally important.
The exercise physiologist uses the scientific
method in investigating the effects of
performance-enhancing drugs in order to
understand the positive and negative effects on
Prior to beginning an exercise program, a
personal trainer will assess the capabilities of
the client, and, as would a realist, continue to
use measurements to determine progress made
in achieving personal fitness goals.
Athletic directors are quite pragmatic in
understanding that they must generate
increased revenues from ticket sales, media
packages, corporate sponsorships, and private
donations in order to adequately support their
Like the pragmatist who believes that learning
occurs as people experience things, especially
as a member of a group, facilities directors are
responsible for providing adequate venues that
are safe so sports participants and spectators
have enjoyable experiences.
Lakes, mountains, and other outdoor settings
provide a wealth of opportunities where
recreation specialists who believe in
naturalism use natural settings as learning
laboratories for individuals to enjoy during
their leisure hours.
Physical education teachers agree with the
philosophy of naturalism and a readiness to
learn as they instruct students in movement
activities that are developmentally appropriate.
Since an individual’s free choices will
determine reality and truth, health educators
use existentialism to emphasize the
importance of making good nutritious
selections of foods eaten, avoiding unhealthy
behaviors that will lead to disease and illness,
and maintaining an active lifestyle.
Acceptance of responsibility, which the
existentialist advocates, is stressed by athletic
trainers when they help athletes choose to
strictly adhere to their rehabilitation
IDEALISM — Truth is
universal and absolute
The mind is critical to all
understanding since only
through reasoning and mental
processes can truth emerge.
comprise the ultimate reality.
Ideals, virtues, and truths are
universal and remain the same
regardless of how individuals
may interpret them.
The mind and the body are
optimally to be developed
simultaneously and as a
whole, although physical
activity is secondary to the
development of the mind and
The idealist believes that
there is one correct way to
perform sports skills.
REALISM — Scientific laws are
independent of human experiences
The laws of nature
determine what is truth.
The scientific method
provides the process for
acquiring and applying truth
( i.e., knowledge originates
in the physical world but
The physical education
curriculum includes activities
and experiences that enable
students to understand the laws
of the physical world.
Learning is subject centered
and includes progressions,
drills, and objective evaluation.
PRAGMATISM — Reality is a
total of individual experiences
Ultimate reality must be experienced and is
ever-changing rather than absolute.
Truth and values are functions of the
consequences of the time and the context.
Social responsibilities are essential as every
individual functions with and contributes to
Students develop social efficiency as they
experience solving the problems of life and
learn how to become better functioning
members of society.
A student-centered curriculum encourages
students to develop their social and
interpersonal skills and to set and achieve
NATURALISM — Laws of
nature govern life and
Truth and things valued exist within the
physical realm of nature.
“Everything according to nature” means
that students learn and develop in and
Physical well-being enhances a readiness to
learn mental, moral, and social skills.
Individualized learning occurs through
self-discovery and exploration of one’s
capabilities and interests.
Through problem-solving, students
progress in skill development at their own
EXISTENTIALISM — Truth
and values are based on
Human experiences and individual
determinism (choices) construct reality.
Each person’s experiences determine truth,
which is uniquely personal.
An individual’s value system, which is
totally controlled by choice, is tempered by
an understanding of social responsibility.
The desired educational outcome is the self-
actualizing person, who must accept the
consequences of actions taken.
Individualized activities in physical
education and sport encourage creativity
and self-awareness and personal
responsibility for learning.
IMPORTANCE OF THE
Idealism — simultaneous development
with the mind
Realism — emphasis on the whole
Pragmatism — variety of activities for
the effective functioning in society
Naturalism — physical activity essential
for optimal learning
Existentialism — freedom to choose
activity and to be creative
Idealism — teacher centered using
examples as models; qualitative
Realism — subject centered;
Pragmatism — student centered; based
on individual differences
Naturalism — individual readiness to
Existentialism — individual centered;
based on self-realization
IMPORTANCE OF THE
Idealism — model and example
Realism — orderly presentation of
facts; learning through drills
Pragmatism — motivator, especially
through problem solving
Naturalism — guide and helper
Existentialism — stimulator and
Idealism — development of personality and
Realism — training students to meet the
realities of life
Pragmatism — helping students to become
better functioning members of society
Naturalism — development of the whole
Existentialism — assisting students to
become self-actualizing, independent beings
Idealism — lecture; question-answer
Realism — use of real world, drills,
lectures, and projects
Pragmatism — problem solving
Naturalism — informal; problem solving
Existentialism — questions raised,
thoughts provoked, and freedom of action
encouraged by the teacher
Idealism — subjective;
Realism — quantitative; using
Pragmatism — subjective and
Naturalism — based on the
attainment of individual goals
Existentialism — unimportant
in the traditional sense
Idealism — resistance to change; development of
the body is secondary to the mind
Realism — too narrow a view; everything must
conform to natural laws or it is wrong
Pragmatism — lack of fixed aims to give
students stability and direction
Naturalism — too simple an education for a
Existentialism — overemphasis on individuality
precludes preparation for social life
1. The __________ advocates that students must
indicate their readiness to attempt to learn a
2. The __________ models or provides
demonstrations of exactly how to serve a
3. The __________ encourages students to use
their reasoning powers to decide how to align
defensive players to stop an opposing team
that fast breaks.
4. Since a curriculum based on this philosophy
focuses on the individual, the __________
focuses on teaching the acceptance of self-
5. The __________ emphasizes learning team
sports through which social skills are
6. A physical education and sport researcher is
sometimes called a/an __________ because
she or he utilizes the scientific method of
7. To the _________ free choices determine
reality and truth, such as in setting up an
exercise program that she or he prefers.
8. The __________ advocates that reality is more
mental than physical, such as perfecting
shooting technique for free throws through
9. Since to the __________ experience,
especially as a member of a group, is critical
for learning, students are encouraged to
experiment with their own techniques in
executing bodily movements.
10.The __________ uses natural settings
as a learning laboratory during leisure
How many did you answer correctly?
Metaphysics refers to the nature of things, or
how actions or events are related to one another.
Axiology deals with the value of things and
discovering whether actions, things or
circumstances are good and virtuous.
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that
examines what people know and how and why
they hold certain beliefs.
Aesthetics is the philosophical area that focuses
on the artistic, sensual, or beautiful aspects of
anything, including movement.
THE INELIGIBLE PLAYER
Tomorrow your school’s girls’ basketball team will play in the
state championship game. Everyone in the school and in your
small town is excited. A telephone call you just received from
the new athletic director (Stacy Miller) suddenly threatens to
change everything. Miller tells you that Jody, the 24-points per
game star, is too old. In completing some required paperwork
for the state athletic association, she realized what the previous
athletic director had not reported, which is that Jody has been
20 years old all season, thus making her ineligible for high
school sports. You are distraught because you know that Jody
is from a single-parent home and has had past academic and
behavioral problems in school but that she has overcome these
and changed since she joined the basketball team. Miller is
willing to keep this matter quiet, but says that as coach you
will have to decide whether to play the game or not.
Ethics is the study of moral values or the
doing of good toward others or oneself; the
study of the principles of human duty; the
study of all moral qualities that distinguish
an individual relative to others
Moral pertains to an individual’s motives,
intentions, and actions as right or wrong,
virtuous or vicious, or good or bad
Values are anything having relative worth
Moral values are the relative worth
that is placed on virtuous behaviors.
Principles are universal rules of
conduct that identify what kinds of
actions, intentions, and motives are
Moral reasoning is the systematic
process of evaluating personal
values and developing a consistent
and an impartial set of moral
principles by which to live.
MORAL REASONING INCLUDES
Moral knowing is the
cognitive phase of learning
about moral issues and how to
Moral valuing is the basis of
what we believe about
ourselves, society, and theories
Moral acting is how we act
based on what we know and
KOHLBERG’S STAGES OF
Stage One focuses on obedient actions performed to
Stage Two emphasizes following rules for self-interest.
Stage Three suggests that people react to the expectations
of parents, peers, and authority figures to gain their
Stage Four assumes that people act in conformity to the
social system and social order.
Stage Five expects people to fulfill the social contract and
show genuine interest in the welfare of others.
Stage Six states that universal ethical principles and the
individual conscience serve as the basis for all actions.
FOUR MORAL VALUES
Justice (treating others with fairness)
Do not violate the rules of the game
Honesty (being trustworthy)
Do not cheat or lie
Responsibility (fulfilling duty)
Do not act irresponsibly
Beneficence (fair play or doing good)
Do not harm an opponent
There is no rule against it.
Everyone else does it.
This action is not unethical because no one
will ever know about it.
Circumstances require acting in this way.
Teleological or consequential (utilitarianism)
theories focus on the end results or consequences
of processes or occurrences; the ultimate standard
of what is morally right is dependent on the
greatest amount of good for the greatest number of
Deontological or non-consequential (Kantian)
theories state that actions must conform to absolute
rules of moral behavior; there is an inherent
rightness apart from all consequences.
Moral duties are prescriptive and
independent of consequences.
Fair play means playing within the letter
and spirit of the rules.
Seeking to win is acceptable only if the
letter and spirit of the rules are followed.
An opponent is not the enemy but a
worthy athlete deserving to be treated
exactly as everyone would wish to be
Retribution is never acceptable
regardless of the unfairness or
violence of the initial action.
Games are not played to
intimidate; the ideal purpose is
a mutual quest for excellence
modesty, humility in victory,
praise for the winners, and
self-respect in defeat.
IS THIS CONDUCT ETHICAL?
A defensive back is beaten by the opposing
wide receiver, resulting in a big play for the
offense. On a subsequent play, the defensive
back “takes out” his opponent with vicious
blind side hit to the knees meant to cause
injury, even though he is not involved with
action near the ball. Is this hit ethical? If not,
how should this intimidation be punished? How
should the defensive back be educated about
IS THIS CONDUCT ETHICAL?
In his first at-bat after his grand-slam home run,
Mike is prepared for a brush-back pitch. He is not
ready for the inside fast ball aimed straight at his
head. He attempts to bail out of the batter’s box but
is hit by the pitch on the arm. He jumps up and
charges the mound, bat in hand, as both benches
clear. The ensuing brawl results in the ejection of
several players from the game. Why is the brush
back pitch seemingly an acceptable form of
gamesmanship in baseball? Does a ball thrown at a
batter’s head justify his charging the mound? Why
are teammates expected to join in the fray? Should
these behaviors be changed?
IS THIS CONDUCT ETHICAL?
The shoving match underneath the basket has
escalated without any fouls being called. Finally,
Mary has had enough. The next time Pat pushes her
to clear the lane, Mary grabs her and refuses to give
ground. Pat retaliates by hitting Mary. Before the
referees can break up the scuffle, punches from
several players have landed. Who is violating the
rules of the game and sportsmanship in this
situation? Is the absence of a whistle calling a foul
on Mary, Pat, or both tantamount to condoning their
intimidation of each other? If you were her coach,
how would you attempt to changes Mary’s or Pat’s
Ethical Choices in Sports
1. Should every child get an opportunity to play all
positions in youth sports?
2. Should a coach have the right to require that an
athlete (at any age) compete in only one sport?
3. Should an athlete be required to pass all school
subjects in order to play on a team?
4. Should a coach teach athletes how to violate a
sports rule to gain a competitive advantage?
5. When, if ever, should a team “run up the score”
on an opposing team?
6. Should taunting an opponent be penalized or
THE PYRAMID OF SUCCESS r G
PA Success is peace of mind which is a direct
TH a ye ta ood TI
EN result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your
John R. Wooden AI pr ke t
F h tim n best to become the best that you are capable of
Head Basketball Coach T becoming.
UCLA COMPETITIVE GREATNESS
“When the going gets tough, the
tough get going.” Be at your best
when your best is needed. Real u (oth
H love of a hard battle. n sd
FI yo e
Respect without fear. Confident
not cocky. May come from faith
Just being yourself. Being at
in yourself in knowing that you pe
ease in any situation. Never
are prepared. ak
fighting yourself. s
CONDITION SKILL TEAM SPIRIT
Mental - Moral - Physical. Rest, A knowledge of and the ability to An eagerness to sacrifice personal
Y exercise, and diet must be properly execute the interests or glory for the welfare
considered. Moderation must be fundamentals. Be prepared. of all. The team comes first. (in
B practiced. Dissipation must be Cover every detail. al
TA y ) eliminated.
AP an ion ay
AD t s)
SELF-CONTROL ALERTNESS INITIATIVE INTENTNESS
Emotions under control. Delicate Be observing constantly. Be Cultivate the ability to make Ability to resist temptation and SI
adjustment between mind and quick to spot a weakness and decisions and think alone. Desire stay with your course. CE
body. Keep judgment and correct it or use it as the case to excel. Concentrate on your objective (m TY
common sense. may warrant. and be determined to reach your ak
INDUSTRIOUSNESS FRIENDSHIP LOYALTY COOPERATION ENTHUSIASM
There is no substitute for work. Comes from mutual esteem, To yourself and to all those With all levels of your co-workers. Your heart must be in your work.
Worth while things come from respect, and devotion. A sincere dependent upon you. Keep your Help others and see the other Stimulate others.
hard work and careful planning. liking for all. self-respect. side.