Yoga and Crossfit

Fran-asana: Yoga and Crossfit

Before I dive into a comparison of yoga and Crossfit, let me begin with a bit of terminology. In discussing virtues up to now, I have drawn a line between virtues of the self, such as intelligence, physical fitness and prudence, and what I have awkwardly referred to as other-directed, … Read more

Hate and Basketball: A Potential Stumbling Block

Hate and Basketball

There is a prevalent story in American society that participation in team sports can keep impoverished and disadvantaged children and adolescents away from gangs and violence and out of trouble. We hear this refrain all the time from community organizers, educational institutions and professional athletes. “Sports kept me off the … Read more

Muktasana: Yoga and Prison


In January, I presented research demonstrating the relationship between physical fitness and mental acuity. In doing so, I highlighted one of the complementary bonds between secondary virtues. But what of virtues beyond fitness and intelligence? What is the relationship between fitness and other-directed, social virtues? There are many possible approaches to … Read more

Toward a Universal Ethic of Human Movement (Part 2)

Toward a Universal Ethic of Human Movement (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this essay, I argued that, like many other ethical precepts, the ethical precepts of human movement are scalable. They vary with respect to age, disability and circumstance. Since age is a universal phenomenon of human existence, I endeavored to scale my first two precepts of human … Read more

Toward a Universal Ethic of Human Movement (Part 1)

Toward a Universal Ethic of Human Movement (Part 1)

As I stated previously, ethics consists of the set of precepts concerned with what an individual human being should do. Yet ethical theory is scalable; different ethical standards exist for different individuals based on variations in age, circumstance, and mental and physical capabilities. One may consider a pauper generous even … Read more

The Ethical Components of Fitness – Part 1: Lifting Your Body Weight

Child pretending to be a superhero, exhibiting the ethical components of fitness

“There is no reality except in action.” – Jean-Paul Sartre1 Part 1: Lifting Your Body Weight Loosely defined, ethics consists of the set of precepts governing what an individual person should do.2 People typically conceive of ethics as externally directed; for example, how an individual should treat others (equally, justly, compassionately, … Read more

Consequentialism: The Granddaddy of All Pro-Con Lists

Consequentialism: The Granddaddy of All Pro-Con Lists

Unlike virtue ethicists and deontologists, consequentialists believe the ethics of a person or action should be judged by the consequences they produce. In other words, the outcome that most favorably affects the greatest number dictates a particular action. But the notion of favorability requires some standard according to which we … Read more

Deontology and Kant’s Moral Law

Deontology and Kant's Moral Law

A natural progression exists in ethics regarding the focus of ethical judgments. Virtue theorists hold that morality resides within qualities (virtues) held by agents. Deontologists claim ethical judgment should be reserved for an agent’s actions; consequentialists, for the consequences of actions. The eighteenth-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant remains the most … Read more

Virtue Ethics, or What If Mother Teresa Was an Olympian?

As one of the three major approaches to ethical thought, virtue ethics seeks to describe the qualities that constitute a good person. Rather than focus on how one should act or the consequences one should endeavor to produce, virtue ethics examines the virtues held by a good person. A good … Read more