Sunday, 12 February 2012
1. Dr Monica Vilhauer (Roanoke College, USA): "The Game of Understanding: Dialogue-Play and Opening to the Other"
2. Prof. John Wall (Rutgers University, USA): "The Ontology of Play: What is Human Being from the Point of View of Childhood?"
3. Dr. Kevin Flint (Nottingham Trent University, UK): "Play as a Leading Activity in the Liminal Space of Plato’s Cave: Facing the Monstrous Arrivant in the Information Age"
4. Prof. Randolph Feezell (Creighton College, USA): "Approaches to Play and Its Significance for Sport and Life"
We hope you find these an enduring and valuable resource, as well as a memory of this unique event!
Monday, 21 November 2011
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Chris Martin from Skills Active posted a response to the conference on his blog. Thanks Chris! His response can be found here: http://www.skillsactive.com/blogs/2827_reflecting_on_philosophy_at_play.
Back soon with more...
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
So ... attended the two-day Philosophy at Play conference at the University of Gloucester earlier this week ... and it was a good one.
It was two very packed days full of philosophical enquiry, playfulness and wonder with some very challenging presentations and papers being delivered to an international, multi-disciplinary audience.
My head is spinning with ideas and thoughts. Highlights for me include:
The key-note speech by Prof. John Wall of Rutgers University, Camden NJ (USA) talking of ‘The ontology of play: what is human being from the point of view of childhood’. Particularly useful was an historical summary of philosophical thinking on play structured around three ’traditional’ approaches – the Top Down approach, the Bottom Up approach and the Developmental approach; and the conclusion that people do not ‘play’ – rather, that play is something that exists outside of people which they are drawn into.
This was a theme continued by Francis Barton in his paper, ‘A twist on Heidegger: the ambiguous ontology of playspace’ which discussed the idea of play still being play without a player, and how interaction with objects and spaces ‘in the background’ make play ‘real’.
Andrew Edgar’s paper, ‘Playing with air and water: the landscape paintings of Peter Lanyon’ was an interesting visual distraction, discussing the playfulness in the paintings inspired by Lanyon’s interest in gliding by and the problem of representing movement in paint.
And Pat Gordon-Smith’s paper, ‘Young children’s morality through play in their earlier years setting’ which presented fascinating results from her research project highlighting the complaints of staff over children’s apparent inability to take turns and share while at the same time routinely missing such things taking place. This led to practitioners effectively ‘enforcing turn taking’ which was not necessarily a positive.
And above all the multi-disciplinary nature of the event, meeting new people and networking has been a definite highlight. And maybe one other thing too!
Seriously good event; huge well done to all involved.
Monday, 4 April 2011
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Monday, 13 December 2010
A Pluralist Conception of Play
JPS Vol 37, Issue 2. pp147 – 165
The philosophical and scientific literature on play is extensive and the approaches to the study, description, and explanation of play are diverse. In this paper I intend to provide an overview of approaches to play. My interest is in describing the most fundamental categories in terms of which play is characterized, explained, and evaluated. Insofar as these categories attempt to describe what kind of reality we are talking about when we make claims about play, I hope to clarify the metaphysics of play. Once this categorical scheme is made clear, we will be in a better position to evaluate the task of definition, claims about the relation of sport and play, and assertions about the significance of play. First, I place the discussion in the context of Bernard Suits’s account of play and some other recent approaches to play. Next, I distinguish the following approaches to play: (a) play as behavior or activity; (b) play as motive, attitude, or state of mind; (c) play as form or structure; (d) play as meaningful experience; (e) play as an ontologically distinctive phenomenon. There is a natural progression in the way the analysis unfolds. In the final section I argue that my analysis generates a pluralist, nonreductive account of play.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
This blog is to facilitate philosophical investigation into, and reflection on, play. It is also link to an upcoming (click the tab above for details) event at the University.
As the days go by, more links, as well as substantive posts, will begin to appear here - and comments and suggestions are - of course - very welcome.