Picture of Leslie A.  Howe

Leslie A. Howe B.A. (McGill), M.A. (Dalhousie), Ph.D. (Toronto)


Faculty Member in Philosophy

Arts 616

Research Area(s)

  • Philosophy of Sport
  • Kierkegaard
  • Selfhood, Identity, and Narrative
  • Play, Pretence, and Deception
  • Desire
  • Nature and Embodiment


Journal Articles:

"On not being alone in lonely places: preferences, goods, and aesthetic-ethical conflict in nature sports."  Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. Special issue on Nature Sport. (2024).  https://doi.org/10.1080/00948705.2024.2310189 

“Fame, Narrative, and the (Im)Permanence of Memory”.  In The Philosophy of Fame and Celebrity, eds Alfred Archer, Catherine Robb, and Matthew Dennis, Bloomsbury Press. (Forthcoming).

“Bullshit as a Practical Strategy for Self-Deceptive Narrators”.  Philosophical Forum 53, 3: 195-206 (Fall 2022).  https://doi.org/10.1111/phil.12318

 “Altering the Narrative of Champions: Recognition, Excellence, Fairness, and Inclusion”.  Sport, Ethics, and Philosophy 14, 4: 496-510 (2020).  https://doi.org/10.1080/17511321.2020.1754281

“Bad Faith, Bad Behaviour, and Role Models”.  Journal of Applied Philosophy. (2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/japp.12437

“Not Everything is a Contest: Sport, Nature Sport, and Friluftsliv”.  Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46, 3 (2019).  DOI: 10.1080/00948705.2019.1622126

“Intensity and the Sublime: Paying Attention to Self and Environment in Nature Sports” Sport, Ethics, and Philosophy.  13, 1 (2019): 94-106.  DOI:10.1080/17511321.2017.1388272

“Simulation, Seduction, and Bullshit: Cooperative and Destructive Misleading”. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. 44, 3 (2017): 300-314.  DOI: 10.1080/00948705.2017.1341325.

“Ludonarrative Dissonance and Dominant Narratives”. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 44, 1 (2017): 44-54.

“Different Kinds of Perfect: The Pursuit of Excellence in Nature Based Sports.” Sport, Ethics, and Philosophy, 6, 3 (2012): 353-368.

“Convention, Audience, and Narrative: Which Play is the Thing?” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 39, 2 (2011): 135-148.

“On Competing Against Oneself, or ‘I need to get a different voice in my head’”, Sport, Ethics, and Philosophy. Vol. 2, no. 3 (2008): 353-366.

“Self and Pretence: Playing with Identity”, Journal of Social Philosophy vol.39, no. 4 (2008): 564-582.

“Remote Sport: Risk and Self-Knowledge in Wilder Spaces”, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 35, no. 1 (2008): 1-16.

“Play, Performance, and the Docile Athlete”, Sport, Ethics, and Philosophy, vol. 1 no. 1 (2007): 47-57.

“Queer Revelations: Desire, Identity, and Self-Deceit,” Philosophical Forum vol. 36 no. 3 (2005): 221-243.

“Gamesmanship,” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, vol. 31, no. 2 (2004): 212-225.

“Athletics, Embodiment, and the Appropriation of the Self,” Journal of Speculative Philosophy, vol. 17 no. 2 (2003): 92-107.

“Kierkegaard and the Feminine Self,” Hypatia, vol. 9 no. 4 (1994): 131-157

Book Chapters:

“Feminism in the Philosophy of Sport”. In Mike McNamee and William J. Morgan (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Sport, 161-177.  Abingdon: Routledge, 2015.

“Sport, Risk, and Danger”. In Cesar R. Torres. The Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Sport, 148-162. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014.

“Vicarious Pain and Genuine Pleasure: Some Reflections on Spectator Transformation of Meaning in Sport,” in Sporting Reflections: Some Philosophical Perspectives, edited by Heather Sheridan, Leslie A. Howe, and Keith Thompson, 32-44. Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Verlag (UK), 2007.

“Being and Playing: Sport and the Valorization of Gender,” Philosophy and Everyday Life: The Quest for Meaning, edited by Laura Duhan Kaplan, 108-126. New York: Seven Bridges Press, 2001.

Co-Edited Books:

Sheridan, Heather, Howe, Leslie A., and Thompson, Keith, Editors. Sporting Reflections: Some Philosophical Perspectives, Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Verlag (UK), 2007.


On Habermas. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Press, 2000.

On Goldman. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Press, 2000.

Teaching & Supervision

Recently Taught Courses:

PHIL 120 Knowledge, Mind, and Existence

PHIL 206 Early Modern Philosophy

PHIL 215 19th Century Philosophy: From Romanticism to Revolution

PHIL 218 Existentialism

PHIL 292 Metaphysics: Reality, Existence, and Change

PHIL 295 Philosophy of Bodies and Embodiment

PHIL 306 Topics in Early Modern Philosophy

PHIL 312 Great Philosophers I: Historical Figures

Advanced seminar topics have included:

Pretence, Deception, and Sincerity 

Desire and Volition in Early Modern Philosophy


Self, Desire, and Self-deception

Theories of the Emotions

Foucault and Habermas on Identity and Power



Bullshit Deception Desire Embodiment Identity Kierkegaard Narrative Play Pretence Self-Deception Selfhood Sport

My general research interests range over a number of areas. I am always interested in Kierkegaard but most of my work is either in the philosophy of sport or about selfhood, identity, self-deception, and desire. The importance of embodiment to self and self-explanation, as well as play, pretence, and striving, connect these two areas.  I am interested in how narrative, whether self-directed or in the form of a broader social discourse, both contributes to and distorts our understanding of who we are and the nature of our interaction as embodied subjects.  I have a strong interest in questions about how we respond to the natural environment, including nature sport and friluftsliv, and some issues in environmental aesthetics.  I am currently working on seduction, pretence, and the phenomena and moral categories that surround them, especially bullshit, deception and misleading, irony, and hypocrisy.

Education & Training

PhD: Philosophy, University of Toronto (1989)

MA: Philosophy, Dalhousie University (1980)

BA (Honours): Philosophy, McGill University (1979)