"Don’t Step on the Foul Line" : Baseball and the (Ir)rationality of Superstition in Sports

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In this paper, I examine the phenomenon of superstition in the game of baseball. I argue that superstitions may occupy various places on the spectrum of epistemic irrationality, depending on the etiology of the superstitious belief in question. I begin by examining the general psychology of superstition. I then discuss some of the conceptual difficulties in making sense of such behavior, and I put forward some possible solutions to these difficulties. I further argue that, in addition to non-intentionally acquired superstitions, there also appear to be genuine cases of superstition, in which the agent may be said to be actively engaged – i.e., that in some cases, an agent may intentionally employ his awareness of his own rational epistemic standards to allow himself to believe irrationally.

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ISO 690GRIFFIOEN, Amber L., 2013. "Don’t Step on the Foul Line" : Baseball and the (Ir)rationality of Superstition in Sports. In: Logique et Analyse ; N.S.. 2013, 56(223), pp. 319-322. ISSN 0024-5836
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@article{Griffioen2013Baseb-25777,
  year={2013},
  title={"Don’t Step on the Foul Line" : Baseball and the (Ir)rationality of Superstition in Sports},
  number={223},
  volume={56},
  issn={0024-5836},
  journal={Logique et Analyse  ;  N.S.},
  pages={319--322},
  author={Griffioen, Amber L.}
}
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