Beyond Things: The Ontological Importance of Play According to Eugen Fink

Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 43 (2):199-214 (2016)
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Eugen Fink’s interpretation of play is virtually absent in the current philosophy of sport, despite the fact that it is rich in original descriptions of the structure of play. This might be due to Fink’s decision not to merely describe play, but to employ its analysis in the course of an elucidation of the ontological problem of the world as totality. On the other hand, this approach can enable us to properly evaluate the true existential and/or ontological value of play. According to Fink, by integrating beings into the imaginary play-world, we become able to transcend mere circumscribed individual entities and encounter reality as such in a new, more profound way. This positive ontological value of play is, however, forgotten because the imaginary dimension of play is traditionally interpreted as a virtual imitation of a model reality which already actually exists somewhere else. For this reason, Fink returns to the Platonic interpretation of play, which laid the foundations for this understanding, and...

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Jan Halák
Palacky University


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