Suits, Autotelicity, Temporal Reallocations, Game Resources and Defining 'play'

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (2):93 - 109 (2011)
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Bernard Suits bequeathed a rich legacy of philosophical insights contributing to our developing a deeper understanding of sport-related issues, and his work has attracted much attention and stimulated valuable controversy over many years. However, the interest it has stimulated appears uneven. In this context and with reference to the former claims above, I focus on a part of his work that has received relatively less commentary, in the hope that it too will yield work of value. Given the imaginative quality of Suits's writing, it is pessimistic to assume that attention to a relatively neglected part of his work will fail to bear fruit, if not as a result of my labours here, then perhaps of someone else's in further discussion. My concern is his account of ?play?, by which he meant to toy, fiddle or trifle with something or other, written over 30 years ago, and it stems from reflection on one recent effort to examine this part of Suits's work, namely Morgan's discussion of ?play?. My article attempts an analysis of the definition Suits gave and an evaluation of efforts he made to defend his understanding, alongside brief exploration of Morgan's work. Both of these tasks are undertaken against a background of Suits's broader concerns with the place of games in an ideal life. The conclusions I reach are that Suits's account embodies too many issues to be acceptable; that Morgan's attempt to rescue him from one of them is misdirected; but that even if my criticisms are damaging to the account of ?play? I examine, they leave Suits's main work on playing games seriously as sports unscathed



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Citations of this work

The Play in the Game Utopians are Playing.Deborah P. Vossen - 2019 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 13 (3-4):372-391.
Games and ideal playgrounds.Colleen English - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (3):401-415.

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References found in this work

Tricky Triad: Games, Play, and Sport.Bernard Suits - 1988 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 15 (1):1-9.
What is a game?Bernard Suits - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (2):148-156.
Words On Play.Bernard Suits - 1977 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 4 (1):117-131.
The Paper World of Bernard Suits.Allan Bäck - 2008 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 35 (2):156-174.

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