The Philosophy of Play  book cover
1st Edition

The Philosophy of Play

ISBN 9781138833876
Published September 11, 2014 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

Play is a vital component of the social life and well-being of both children and adults. This book examines the concept of play and considers a variety of the related philosophical issues. It also includes meta-analyses from a range of philosophers and theorists, as well as an exploration of some key applied ethical considerations.

The main objective of The Philosophy of Play is to provide a richer understanding of the concept and nature of play and its relation to human life and value, and to build disciplinary and paradigmatic bridges between scholars of philosophy and scholars of play. Including specific chapters dedicated to children and play, and exploring the work of key thinkers such as Plato, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, Deleuze and Nietzsche, this book is invaluable reading for any advanced student, researcher or practitioner with an interest in education, playwork, leisure studies, applied ethics or the philosophy of sport.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. A Pluralist Conception of Play – Randolf Feezell  2. All the World’s A Stage: Childhood and the Play of Being – John Wall  3. Playing with Words: Further Comment on Suits’ Definition – Emily Ryall  4. Playing Well: Wittgenstein’s Language-Games and the Ethics of Discourse – David Egan  5. Gadamer and the Game of Dialectic in Plato’s Gorgias – Barry Dixon  6. Gadamer and the Game of Understanding: Dialogue-Play and Opening to the Other – Monica Vilhauer  7. Language at Play. Games and the Linguistic Turn after Wittgenstein and Gadamer – Núria Sara Miras Boronat  8. Whoever Cannot Give, Also Receives Nothing: Nietzsche’s Playful Spectator – Catherine Homan  9. Play and Being in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness – Beck Pitt  10. Passion Play: Play, Free Will and the Sublime – Thomas Hackett  11. Playing in a Deleuzian playground – Stuart Lester  12. ‘We Sneak off to Play What we Want!’ Bakhtin’s Carnival and Children’s Play – Maria Øksnes  13. What’s Play Got to Do with the Information Age?  14. Towards a Spatial Theory of Playwork: What Can Lefebvre Offer as a Response to Playwork’s Inherent Contradictions? – Wendy Russell  15. To Play or to Parent? An Analysis of the Adult-Child Interaction in Make-Believe Play – Peter Hopsicker & Chad Carlson  16. Game Over: Calling Time on Kidult Accounts of Masculinity – David Webster

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Emily Ryall is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. Her main area of expertise is in the philosophy of sport, in addition to an interest in broader ethical and conceptual issues. She is on the editorial board of the Journal for the Philosophy of Sport and has published work in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections as well as sole authored books.

Wendy Russell is Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. She has over 35 years experience as a playworker, specifically in development, research, education and training. Her research interests focus on play, childhood, space and politics and she is particularly interested in the dialectics of adult involvement in children’s play.

Malcolm MacLean is Associate Dean (Quality and Standards) and teaches in the Faculty of Applied Science at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. His research work explores cultural politics, sport as a form of body and movement culture and the political economy of knowledge production in contemporary higher education.


"(...) I am sure that many other scholars and practitioners of play may be enchanted by reading here and there in this much welcome and highly commendable, and recommendable work of play and play of work. The Philosophy at Play conference organizers and book editors, Emily Ryall, Wendy Russell, and Malcolm Maclean deserve high praise indeed for their great efforts in reviving play."

- Ejgil Jespersen, Department of Health Sciences