Philosophical Perspectives on Play builds on the disciplinary and paradigmatic bridges constructed between the study of philosophy and play in The Philosophy of Play (Routledge, 2013) to develop a richer understanding of the concept and nature of play and its relation to human life and value. Made up of contributions from leading international thinkers and inviting readers to explore the presumptions often attached to play and playfulness, the book considers ways that play in ‘virtual’ and ‘real’ worlds can inform understandings of each, critiquing established norms and encouraging scepticism about the practice and experience of play.

Organised around four central themes -- play(ing) at the limits, aesthetics, metaphysics/ontology and ethics -- the book extends and challenges notions of play by drawing on issues emerging in sport, gaming, literature, space and art, with specific attention paid to disruption and danger. It is intended to provide scholars and practitioners working in the spheres of play, education, games, sport and related subjects with a deeper understanding of philosophical thought and to open dialogue across these disciplines.

chapter |9 pages


ByMalcolm MacLean, Wendy Russell, Emily Ryall

part 1|57 pages

Playing at the limits

chapter 1|14 pages

Exile and utopia as liminal play

A cultural-theoretical approach 1
ByMihai I. Spariosu

chapter 2|15 pages

Playing war – playing with fire

About dark games
ByHenning Eichberg

chapter 3|11 pages

Games and evil

ByCarl David Mildenberger

chapter 4|15 pages

Posthuman nature

Life beyond the natural playground
ByStuart Lester

part 2|51 pages

Play, aesthetics and performance

chapter 5|13 pages

A disavowal of games

ByChris Bateman

chapter 6|11 pages

Lessons in playing

Robert Morris’s Bodyspacemotionthings 2009 as a biopolitical environment 1
ByTim Stott

chapter 7|12 pages

Oasis of happiness – the play of the world and human existence

Eugen Fink’s multidimensional concept of play
ByNúria Sara Miras Boronat

chapter 8|13 pages

Homer and competitive play

ByDaniel A. Dombrowski

part 3|56 pages

Metaphysics and ontology

chapter 9|13 pages

Homo ludens in the twenty-first century

Towards an understanding of Caillois’s paidia in sports 1
ByImara Felkers, Ellen Mulder, Malcolm MacLean

chapter 10|16 pages

Locating rhythms

Improvised play in the built environment
ByDani Abulhawa

chapter 11|14 pages

Weltentzug und Weltzerfall (world-withdrawal and world-decay)

Heidegger’s notions of withdrawal from the world and the decay of worlds in the times of computer games
ByMathias Fuchs

chapter 12|11 pages

The paradox of rules and freedom

Art and life in the simile of play
ByDamla Dönmez

part 4|41 pages

Ethics of work in play and play in work

chapter 13|12 pages

Philosophy, play and ethics in education

BySandra Lynch

chapter 14|14 pages

Entangled in the midst of it

A diffractive expression of an ethics for playwork
ByWendy Russell

chapter 15|13 pages

‘Excess is truly the key’

Community, flow and the play of control in the picture books of Thomas King
ByHelene Staveley