Last updated on: 12/19/2008 | Author:

David Fairchild, PhD Biography

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Indiana University - Purdue Univeristy Fort Wayne (IPFW)
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“What logically is at issue if we accept the position that steroid prohibitions are not justifiable? Has philosophy indeed strayed away from common sense on this issue? Has philosophy lost its public audience? Two significantly disjoint responses suggest themselves.

First, the conclusion that steroid use is not unacceptable (a slightly weaker, and perhaps philosophically more palatable position than that steroid proscriptions cannot be convincingly established) may not follow from our reasoning. Perhaps our arguments are simply not as well constructed as they appear. We may have committed certain errors in our reasoning, which in turn led us to (these) inappropriate results. If we can discover and correct these errors, we can amend our conclusions. This disjunct itself admits of two interesting permutations. First, the issue here may not be one of fallacious reasoning. Perhaps it is less a question of errors committed than of mis-directed arguments. It may be that the complexity of the issues we have addressed has prevented us from discovering the ‘right’ type of logically acceptable arguments with which to justify steroid prohibitions.

Second, it just may be that the problems associated with doping in sport are simply too difficult to admit of philosophic resolution. Perhaps it is asking too much to expect logically convincing conclusions on matters of cultural origin and significance. We may be better advised to reconsider the nature of our philosophizing than to attempt to philosophically resolve the doping dilemma.”

“Of Cabbages and Kings: Continuing Conversation on Performance Enhancers In Sport,” Proceedings: International Symposium for Olympic Research, Feb. 1992

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)
  • Former Chair of Philosophy Department, IPFW
  • Former President, International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, 1991-1992
  • PhD, Northwestern University, 1972
  • MA, Northwestern University, 1970
  • BA, Purdue University, 1968
  • None found