Philosophy at Play 3

22 July 2015

Phil at Play Image

We held our third Philosophy at Play conference on 9 and 10 June at Oxstalls Campus. There were 20 papers and three keynote presentations and they all stretched our minds until they hurt. It was two days of deep thinking, excellent company and a very congenial atmosphere. Old acquaintances were renewed and new ones forged. There was a huge range of papers, from a diverse bunch of philosophers, play specialists, artists and designers from 14 different countries. Some considered the work of specific philosophers (European, Chinese, Indian); others looked at play and art (aesthetics); others at being and becoming (ontology) or at other philosophical issues of metaphysics and ethics. Some looked specifically at children's play (and adults' engagement with this); others at topics such as play and the internet, play and resistance, and the history of play. A real treat!

The conference dinner this year was a real highlight. Not only did we get to have a fantastic meal in the superb medieval Blackfriars Priory, but we were also - unexpectedly - treated to some sublime singing from delegate Erin Heisel (a classical soprano) and also from the Mayor of Gloucester, Sebastian Field,  and his wife, also professional singers.

We held a workshop to discuss where the conference might go from here. There was overwhelming support for the project to continue, with biennial conferences that could be hosted elsewhere (perhaps alongside partner conferences), and with some interesting ideas for other collaborative work - but of course we need to find some funding. As a first step and to keep in touch, we agreed to set up a Facebook Group, and anyone who is interested can join us there: (You can find photos of the conference here too.)

The edited book of papers from the second conference (held in 2013) is due out in the autumn. It was also agreed that we should submit a proposal to Routledge for a third book of papers from this year's conference.

Phil at Play Singers 

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