Call for Abstracts | Squaring the Octagon: Philosophers Grapple with Mixed Martial Arts | Anthology, edited by Jason Holt and Marc Ramsay. Call ends January 15, 2020

In mere decades, mixed martial arts (MMA) has exploded as a worldwide phenomenon, a sport as controversial as it is compelling, one that demands serious philosophical attention. Abstracts are sought for a prospective anthology on the philosophical significance of MMA.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Is MMA a true martial art?
    • MMA vs. traditional martial arts and combat sports
    • MMA epistemology: the nature of know-how
    • Tournament of techniques: strikers vs. grapplers, cage vs. street
    • MMA as illustrating philosophical theories
    • Philosophically useful case studies: GSP, Ronda Rousey, BJ Penn, etc.
    • Is it immoral to participate in or watch MMA and other violent sports?
    • Ethical/legal dimensions of MMA (consent, legal moralism, paternalism, etc.)
    • Respect, gamesmanship, and cheating in MMA
    • Performance-enhancing drugs in MMA
    • MMA and gender
    • Beauty and ugliness in MMA
    • Is MMA an art form?

An editor at Routledge has expressed interest in receiving a full proposal, to be submitted once abstracts have been finalized.

Initial submission should include an abstract (150-250 words) and CV, sent to both Jason Holt ( and Marc Ramsay ( by 15 January 2020.


  • Deadline for abstract/CV: 15 January 2020
  • Notification of abstract status: 30 January 2020
  • First draft: 1 June 2020
  • Final draft: 1 September 2020

(NB: Abstract acceptance does not by itself guarantee acceptance of the full paper.)

Prof. Jason Holt
School of Kinesiology
Acadia University
550 Main St., Wolfville, NS
B4P 2R6 Canada


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