On Play and Playing
The paper offers a review of the development of the concept of play and playing. The true beginnings of the development of the theories of play are set as late as in the 19th century. It is difficult to define play as such; it may much more easily be defined through its antipode – work. In the beginning, play used to be connected with education; it was not before Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis and Piaget’s developmental psychology that the importance of play in a child’s development began to be explained in more detail. The paper further tackles the role of play in the adult age. Detailed attention is paid to psychodynamic and psychoanalytic authors, in particular D. W. Winnicott and his understanding of playing in the intermediary (transitional) empirical or experiential space. In other words, playing occupies a »space and time« of its own. The neuroscientific concept of playing is also tackled, in the connection with development as well.
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