Research in the philosophy of sport focuses on understanding the basic principles, assumptions, values, ideas and skills which constitute sport, physical culture, kinesiology, games and play. The tools of philosophy are applied to sport to answer questions that cannot be reduced to measurement or quantification, such as: Is sport a form of art? Is embodied skill a legitimate form of knowledge? Is cheating wrong? The aim in struggling to answer such questions is not merely practical, though such utilitarian benefits can often accrue. That is, philosophy is not merely a tool used to help administer sport better, even though it does contribute to such efforts. Rather the aim is to recognize, evaluate, wonder at and debate the place of sport and physical activity in human culture, and in the good life. Though such inquiry is useful, in the end it is done for its own sake, in pursuit of truth.
The history of sport focuses on the institutions, traditions, people, cultures, and narratives which make up sport as a temporal and transcultural reality. Sport historians examine both primary and secondary sources in an attempt to better understand and ultimately tell the story of sport as it has evolved across time, space and culture. The historical examination of sport helps place sport in a wider and deeper human context by illuminating both the foreign and the familiar aspects of past sporting cultures, traditions, and practices.
Primary Associated Faculty
Associated Doctoral Students
Associated Master's Students
- Philosophy of Kinesiology
- The Mind/Body Problem
- Sports Ethics
- Sport & Religion
- The History of the SEC
- The History of College Athletics
Graduate Student Publications, Dissertations & Theses
- Whalen, Clayton. (2023). An arete-based philosophy of physical education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (JOPERD), 94(3), 24-28.
- Hickson, M. (2019). The necessity of philosophy in the exercise sciences. Philosophies, 4(3), 45. doi:10.3390/philosophies4030045
- Pomykalski, E. (2019). Expanding the brand of athletics (Order No. 22584322). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ Mississippi State University; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global; Publicly Available Content Database. (2279899906). Retrieved from https://login.proxy.library.msstate.edu/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/docview/2279899906?accountid=34815
- Watkins J. (2019). The fall of Sewanee from “big-time” college football. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 12, 114-132.
- Watkins, J. L. (2019). Shaping the southeastern conference: Commercialization and deregulation during the great depression and World War II (Order No. 13861336). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ Mississippi State University; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2234482876). Retrieved from https://login.proxy.library.msstate.edu/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/shaping-southeastern-conference-commercialization/docview/2234482876/se-2?accountid=34815
- Watkins, J. (2018). The rise and fall of Division I athletics at Birmingham-Southern College. International Journal of the History of Sport, 34(11), 1088-1111.
- Downs, B. J. (2016). Maroon and white and read all over: Newspaper coverage of desegregation of Mississippi State football, 1970-1973 (Order No. 10141604). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ Mississippi State University; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1822365140). Retrieved from https://login.proxy.library.msstate.edu/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/maroon-white-read-all-over-newspaper-coverage/docview/1822365140/se-2?accountid=34815.
Selected Faculty Publications
Twietmeyer, Gregg; Johnson, Tyler G. (2023). The Meritocracy Trap and Kinesiology. Kinesiology Review, 12(2), 109-119.
- Twietmeyer, G. & Johnson, T.G. (2022). Aristotle’s conception of arete and the meaning of records in sport. Kinesiology Review, 11(3), 229-239.
- Johnson, T.G. & Twietmeyer G. (2021). A call for pick-up games in educational institutions. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (JOPERD), 92(8), 34-42.
- Twietmeyer, G.; Watson, N.J.; Parker, A. (2019). Sport, Christianity and social justice? Considering a Theological Foundation. Quest, 71(2), 121-137.
- Twietmeyer, G., & Johnson, T. G. (2019). A kinesiology conundrum: Physical activity requirements in kinesiology degree programs. Quest, 71(1), 90-111.
- Johnson, T. G., & Twietmeyer, G. (2018). The necessity of physical activity in kinesiology degree programs. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 89(2), 42-48.
- Johnson, T. G.; Twietmeyer, G. (2018). Viewpoint -- What Kinesiology Can Learn From Music. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (JOPERD), 89(5), 8-10.
- Twietmeyer, G. (2018). Culture, Kinesiology and the Free Society. Quest, 70(2), 213-233.
- Twietmeyer, G. (2018). Hope & Kinesiology: The Hopelessness of Health-Centered Kinesiology, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 12(1), 4-19.
- Twietmeyer, G. (2015). Religion, theology and sport. In Routledge handbook of the philosophy of sport (pp. 238-254). New York, NY: Routledge.