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Beyond ‘crude pragmatism’ in sports coaching: Insights from C.S. Peirce, William James and John Dewey: a commentary

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    Rights statement: “The final version of this paper has been published in International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, Vol 12, Issue 1, December-14-2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Edward T Hall, Shirley Gray, 2016. It is available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1747954116684218

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http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1747954116684218
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-49
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science & Coaching
Volume12
Issue number1
Early online date14 Dec 2016
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Abstract

We agree that there is a lack of clarity in the sports coaching literature about philosophical pragmatism, but this is inevitable when there is a lack of consensus in the literature of philosophical pragmatism itself. In the writing of classical pragmatists there are a “plurality of conflicting narratives” (Bernstein, 1995 p.55). For instance, Charles Sanders Peirce acknowledged notable theoretical divergence between his pragmatism and that of William James (Hookway, 2012). In fact, Peirce viewed the availability of nuanced approaches as a mark of the vitality of this school of thought. After all, pragmatists value diversity, they accept that current thinking, hypotheses and practices may require revision – they are flexibly minded. Such revision, however, must be built upon well-reasoned doubt (Hookway, 2012). In other words, a clear argument is necessary if an alternative proposition is to be considered. In this vein, though we have sympathy for the thrust of his argument, and support calls for more “legitimate philosophical thinking” and “empirical philosophical enquiry” (Cushion & Partington, 2016 p.863), our aim in this commentary is to address a lack of clarity and utility in some of Jenkins’ propositions about philosophical pragmatism and sports coaching.

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