Avishai Margalit, former Professor in the School of Historical Studies, reviews Knowing the Score: What Sports Can Teach Us About Philosophy (And What Philosophy Can Teach Us About Sports) by David Papineau and What We Think About When We Think About Soccer by Simon Critchley for the New York Review of Books, writing:
"Philosophers have long argued over what distinguishes humans from all other animals. Rationality is one answer. Another answer is that man is, uniquely, a maker of tools, Homo faber. Still another philosopher held that man is a symbol-making animal. Johan Huizinga, a Dutch historian of immense learning and inordinate ingenuity, insisted instead that humans are, at their core, Homo ludens: we are made distinct by our capacity to play. Competitive sport is the epitome of play, and the fact that it is governed by strict rules makes it a uniquely human invention."
Read more at the New York Review of Books.