• Kinesiology dance students and faculty rehearsing

    Department of Kinesiology

  • Kinesiology students working with laboratory equipment and clients

    Department of Kinesiology

  • Kinesiology students and various exercise participants

    Department of Kinesiology

  • Kinesiology dance students performing

    Department of Kinesiology

  • Adapted Exercise

    Department of Kinesiology

  • CSUN Kinesiology May 2017 Graduation Celebration

    CSUN Kinesiology May 2017 Graduation Celebration

Douglas W. McLaughlin
Assistant Professor
(818) 677-2206
Office location:
RE 285


As a freshman at Earlham College, I played football and majored in philosophy.My teammates thought it strange that I wanted to study philosophy and my classmates thought it strange I wanted to play football.I could not understand why others saw my two passions as incompatible, but I lacked the ability to explain how they were complementary pursuits.Upon transferring to the Pennsylvania State University, I learned about the philosophy of sport as a serious academic discipline under the mentorship of R. Scott Kretchmar, one of the foremost philosophy of sport scholars in the world. After completing a dual-degree in Exercise and Sport Science (B.S.) and Philosophy (B.A.), I worked for a year as a youth director and an intercollegiate strength and conditioning coach.But I returned to PSU to pursue a doctoral degree in the Department of Kinesiology with an emphasis in History and Philosophy of Sport.Under the supervision of Dr. Kretchmar, I completed my dissertation (Reinventing the Wheel: On Games and the Good Life) that argued that game playing is the central activity of the good life.I also had the great privilege of attending the International Olympic Academy’s Postgraduate Seminar in Olympic Studies in 2005.

Prior to coming to CSUN, I worked as a full-time instructor at Penn State DuBois teaching a variety of activity courses.Teaching Ultimate Frisbee and bowling were not only a great deal of fun, but led to considerable improvement in my own skills (including the first time I raised my average to over 200).But the opportunity to teach Sport Studies courses brought me to CSUN in August 2004.Since being at CSUN, I have taught numerous Sport Studies courses including KIN 305 (Historical and Philosophical Bases of Kinesiology), KIN 405 (Ethics and Kinesiology), KIN 408 (The Olympic Games) and KIN 428 (Aesthetics of Human Movement).

In recent years my research has focused on Olympic Studies.Cesar Torres (SUNY-The College at Brockport) and I have argued that Olympism (Olympic Philosophy) is best understood as an intersubjective moral approach to sport and sport governance.We have applied this moral framework to a number of issues concerning the Olympic Movement.We assessed the Olympic Program (it should be more representative of sports from around the world) and FIFA’s ban of the hijab (while the decision to permanently lift the ban was recently made, it was not necessarily for the right reasons or desired process).In 2013, I was awarded a Postgraduate Research Grant from the International Olympic Committee to apply our moral framework to the concept of Olympic Legacy.Cesar and I are also assessing how the moral framework informs the Olympic Movement’s efforts to promote Sport for All.

I have raised awareness of sport philosophy in a number of different venues while at CSUN.For the last five years I have organized and chaired the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport group session at the American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division Meeting.Over the past 5 years, it has been my good fortune to regularly host lectures by world-renowned sport philosophers on campus.

As a young boy, I had the profound luck to have role models, including my father and grandfathers, who pursued “a rest most busy.”Their active pursuits instilled in me a lusory spirit that I hope to instill in my own children. Firmly believing that game playing is the central activity of the good life, I make a concerted effort to model this “life most worth living” through my continued participation in Ultimate Frisbee.I had the good fortune to compete at the 2006 World Club Championships in Perth in the Masters division and have recently competed at the Grand Masters Club National Championships.