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Infinite Baseball

Nonfiction: Sports
Unabridged   6 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/01/2019

NEW! Now Available

Infinite Baseball

Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684570461
Digital Download ISBN:9781684570478


Baseball is a strange sport: it consists of long periods in which little seems to be happening, punctuated by high-energy outbursts of rapid fire activity. Because of this, despite ever greater profits, Major League Baseball is bent on finding ways to shorten games, and to tailor baseball to today's shorter attention spans. But for the true fan, baseball is always compelling to watch—and intellectually fascinating.

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Product Description

In this deeply entertaining book, philosopher and baseball fan Alva Noë explores the many unexpected ways in which baseball is truly a philosophical kind of game. For example, he ponders how observers of baseball are less interested in what happens, than in who is responsible for what happens; every action receives praise or blame. To put it another way, in baseball—as in the law—we decide what happened based on who is responsible for what happened. Noë also explains the curious activity of keeping score: a score card is not merely a record of the game, like a video recording; it is an account of the game. Baseball requires that true fans try to tell the story of the game, in real time, as it unfolds, and thus actively participate in its creation.

Some argue that baseball is fundamentally a game about numbers. Noë's wide-ranging, thoughtful observations show that, to the contrary, baseball is not only a window on language, culture, and the nature of human action, but is intertwined with deep and fundamental human truths. The book ranges from the nature of umpiring and the role of instant replay, to the nature of the strike zone, from the rampant use of surgery to controversy surrounding performance enhancing drugs. Throughout, Noë's observations are surprising and provocative. Infinite Baseball is a book for the true baseball fan.


"Whether it's his contention that baseball isn't slow enough, his logic on the fallacy of PEDs or his thoughts on why it's OK for adults to crave a ball tossed into the stands, Alva Noë wields a philosopher's wit and wisdom to cut through modern sports' recycled rhetoric and arrive at a place we all should be: that baseball is life, it's love and it's damn near perfect." —Jeff Passan, ESPN MLB Insider and author of The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports

Author Bio

Alva Noë is a writer and philosopher living in Berkeley and New York. He is the author of Out of Our Heads and Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, among other books.