Why Jim Joyce Wasn’t Wrong : Baseball and the Euthyphro Dilemma

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2015
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Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. 2015, 42(3), pp. 327-348. ISSN 0094-8705. eISSN 1543-2939. Available under: doi: 10.1080/00948705.2015.1036874
Zusammenfassung

In 2010, pitcher Armando Galarraga was denied a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe at first with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. In the numerous media discussions that followed, Joyce’s ‘blown’ call was commonly referred to as ‘mistaken’, ‘wrong’, or otherwise erroneous. However, this use of language makes some not uncontroversial ontological assumptions. It claims that the fact that a runner is safe or out has nothing to do with the ruling of the umpire himself, but rather with some state of the universe that does not depend on the umpire for its existence (e.g. the runner’s reaching the base before the ball or not). In this paper, I recast the problem as a version of Plato’s Euthyphro Dilemma and argue that the view implied by the above assertions is actually misguided. Instead, I hope to show that an alternative view – what I call ‘restricted umpire voluntarism’ – is actually more in line with the spirit of the game of baseball and is not as counterintuitive as it may appear at first glance.

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100 Philosophie
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baseball, Plato, Euthyphro, voluntarism, intellectualism, umpires, officiating, Austin, rules
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ISO 690GRIFFIOEN, Amber L., 2015. Why Jim Joyce Wasn’t Wrong : Baseball and the Euthyphro Dilemma. In: Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. 2015, 42(3), pp. 327-348. ISSN 0094-8705. eISSN 1543-2939. Available under: doi: 10.1080/00948705.2015.1036874
BibTex
@article{Griffioen2015Joyce-31236,
  year={2015},
  doi={10.1080/00948705.2015.1036874},
  title={Why Jim Joyce Wasn’t Wrong : Baseball and the Euthyphro Dilemma},
  number={3},
  volume={42},
  issn={0094-8705},
  journal={Journal of the Philosophy of Sport},
  pages={327--348},
  author={Griffioen, Amber L.}
}
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    <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">In 2010, pitcher Armando Galarraga was denied a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe at first with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. In the numerous media discussions that followed, Joyce’s ‘blown’ call was commonly referred to as ‘mistaken’, ‘wrong’, or otherwise erroneous. However, this use of language makes some not uncontroversial ontological assumptions. It claims that the fact that a runner is safe or out has nothing to do with the ruling of the umpire himself, but rather with some state of the universe that does not depend on the umpire for its existence (e.g. the runner’s reaching the base before the ball or not). In this paper, I recast the problem as a version of Plato’s Euthyphro Dilemma and argue that the view implied by the above assertions is actually misguided. Instead, I hope to show that an alternative view – what I call ‘restricted umpire voluntarism’ – is actually more in line with the spirit of the game of baseball and is not as counterintuitive as it may appear at first glance.</dcterms:abstract>
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