Philosophy Sports

The new café philosophy.

Philosophy Sports is the next generation of Cafe Philosophy. Philosophy Sports is a series of games of competitive persuasion (publicly-engaged experiential learning) that socialize the criterion of truth and the rules of logic as fair play.

Tug of Logic

The first Philosophy Sport, is a board-game for the collaborative and competitive development of persuasive arguments built on a shifting common-ground.

Tug of Logic: An audience participation system to facilitate participatory social reasoning (social deliberation).

Web app for Tug of Logic is coming soon!

Click here to watch a video demo.


About Tug of Logic

Tug of Logic, the first Philosophy Sport, is a board-game for the collaborative and competitive development of persuasive arguments built on a shifting common-ground.

The object of the game is to change minds, above all one’s own. You try to “pull” others toward your view by establishing reasons on a common ground, but sometimes you find you get pulled over, and win.

The winners are the players who change their mind.

Any player can have the satisfaction of making another player a winner, by convincing them and ‘drawing them over”. But the real winers are those players who change their own mind on the main claim, which is shown at once to all by moving that player’s gamepiece to the opposite side of the board during each Bout of Logical Scrimmage.

The Tug of Logic boardgame has been played by students in Douglas College classrooms, local areas schools, and presented to educators at regional universities. In 2019 it was) a featured game at the annual Canadian High School Ethics Bowl, where it was played by nearly one hundred high school students.

Philosophy Sports are also introduced in print in forthcoming book publications, both How to Play Philosophy (Hamilton, forthcoming 2022) and Café Conversations (Anvil Books, forthcoming 2022)

About Philosophy Sports

Philosophy Sports, a new modality of public participatory philosophy featuring social reasoning (collaborative argument construction), confrontation of divergent perspectives, live dialogue, plus real-time phone voting and measured persuasive effect.

Philosophy Sports is an intensive interactive philosophy experience, 

Featuring stimulating topics, contrasting perspectives, competitive persuasion, and games of structured debate or facilitated role-play, where opposing points of view face off against each other to try to win each other over. Competitive games of persuasion provide intensive interactive philosophy experiences that feature social 

plus real-time phone voting and measured persuasive effects. Participants evaluate supporting claims and overall conclusions by revisable live e-voting, which allows for measurement of effective persuasion.Designed for the post-truth era, these philosophy games aim to revivify public reason and deepen civil discourse in the spirit of fun and fair competition. They represent a radical new way to play philosophy and enact democracy.

These games improve arguments through play,

and develop players through friendly competition governed by the sporting values of betterment, fun, inclusiveness, respect, and fair play.

Contrary to the adversarial model of debate, in which only those who lose learn, in these truth games one wins only by changing one's mind.

Only reasonableness is rewarded, undercutting the idiosyncrasy of standard modes of public participatory philosophy.

Photo by Erik Johnson

Philosophy Sports embodies internationally recognized norms of fairness.

Philosophy Sports are Truth Sports (alḗtheia athletica). The random play of opinion that plagued cafe philosophy and contemporary political discourse cannot compete in these games, which are designed to be a place where truthiness withers, and alternative facts come to die. Philosophy Sports demarcates differences even while providing means to aim at consensus and find common ground. Yet dissensus remains a precondition of competitive play. Philosophy Sports provides a critical venue that may yet maintain a welcoming climate for the public through facilitation that advances the spirit of inclusiveness, fun and fair play.


The inaugural public Philosophy Sports events took place in Fall 2017. The concept was introduced internationally at the 15th ICPP Conference in Mexico City in 2018 (supported by RSATF).


Photo by Erik Johnson

Get involved

Sign up for Philosophy Sports news & events

Book a Philosophy Session

Learn more at

Contact Us

Questions, comments, or suggestions? We love to hear from you!