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Why You Don’t Have to Choose between Accuracy and Human Officiating (But You Might Want to Anyway)

Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0218, USA
Philosophies 2019, 4(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4020033
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophical Issues in Sport Science)
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PDF [193 KB, uploaded 14 June 2019]

Abstract

Debates about the role of technology in sports officiating assume that technology would, ceteris paribus, improve accuracy over unassisted human officiating. While this is largely true, it also presents a false dilemma: that we can have accurately officiated sports or human officials, but not both. What this alleged dilemma ignores is that the criteria by which we measure accuracy are also up for revision. We could have sports that are so defined as to be easily (or at least more accurately) judged by human officials. A case from the recent history of science provides an instructive example. I argue that if we insist on human officials, we can still aim for maximal accuracy, though there will be tradeoffs. With compelling reasons to want accuracy in officiating, however, these tradeoffs effectively serve as a reductio against the use of human officials unaided by technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: accuracy; officiating; justice; the human element; technology; Hawk-Eye; aesthetics of sports accuracy; officiating; justice; the human element; technology; Hawk-Eye; aesthetics of sports
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bordner, S.S. Why You Don’t Have to Choose between Accuracy and Human Officiating (But You Might Want to Anyway). Philosophies 2019, 4, 33.

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