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Eugen Fink is considered one of the clearest interpreters of phenomenology and was the preferred conversational partner of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. In Play as Symbol of the World, Fink offers an original phenomenology of play as he attempts to understand the world through the experience of play. He affirms the philosophical significance of play, why it is more than idle amusement, and reflects on the movement from "child's play" to "cosmic play." Well-known for its nontechnical, literary style, this skillful translation by Ian Alexander Moore and Christopher Turner invites engagement with Fink's philosophy of play and related writings on sports, festivals, and ancient cult practices.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-x
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  1. Translators’ Introduction
  2. Ian Alexander Moore, Christopher Turner
  3. pp. 1-13
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  1. Oasis of Happiness: Thoughts toward an Ontology of Play {1957}
  2. pp. 14-32
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  1. One: Play as Symbol of the World {1960}
  1. 1. Play as a Philosophical Problem
  2. pp. 35-43
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  1. 2. The World-Significance of Human Play
  2. pp. 43-52
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  1. 3. Methodological Considerations
  2. pp. 52-61
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  1. 4. The Position of the Human Being in the Centauresque Metaphysics of the West
  2. pp. 61-70
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  1. 5. The World as Play? An Approach in the Appearance of the Playworld
  2. pp. 70-79
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  1. Two: The Metaphysical Interpretation of Play
  1. 6. The Non-Actual Character of Play
  2. pp. 80-88
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  1. 7. Play and the Other Regions of Human Life. Plato’s Blending of Being and Nothing
  2. pp. 88-97
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  1. 8. Plato’s Interpretation of Play by Way of the Mirror. His Critique of the Poets
  2. pp. 97-106
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  1. 9. The Lens of the Disenchanted. Critique of the Platonic Model of the Mirror
  2. pp. 106-115
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  1. 10. The Ontological Devaluation of Play at the Beginning of Metaphysics. The Problem of the Symbol
  2. pp. 115-124
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  1. Three: The Interpretation of Play in Myth
  1. 11. Basic Features of Mythical Cult-Play
  2. pp. 125-133
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  1. 12. The Cultic Sense-Image and Its Veiled World-Reference. Association with Daemons
  2. pp. 133-142
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  1. 13. Cosmic Status of the Symbolism of Play—Ancient Belief in Daemons. The Enchantment of Masks
  2. pp. 142-151
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  1. 14. Sacred Technique, Cosmic Metaphor, Initiatory Enchantment. Transition to Cult-Play
  2. pp. 151-160
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  1. 15. Cult-Play as a Dissembling of the World-Relation. Play of the Gods and Play of the World
  2. pp. 160-169
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  1. 16. Play and Consecration—Cult-Play and Religion. The Play of the Gods Is Not Itself Cult-Play
  2. pp. 169-178
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  1. Four: The Worldliness of Human Play
  1. 18. Polysemy of the Concept “Worldly”
  2. pp. 188-197
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  1. 19. The Worldliness of Play—In Contrast to the Metaphysical and Mythological Interpretation
  2. pp. 197-206
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  1. Play and Celebration {1975}
  2. pp. 216-224
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  1. Additional Texts
  1. Child’s Play {1959}
  2. pp. 227-228
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  1. Play and Philosophy {1966}
  2. pp. 229-233
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  1. The World-Significance of Play {1973}
  2. pp. 234-248
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  1. Play and Cult {1972–1973?}
  2. pp. 249-250
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  1. Fink’s Notes on Play
  1. The Philosophical-Pedagogical Problem of Play, 1954
  2. pp. 253-272
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  1. Sport Seminar on February 24, 1961
  2. pp. 273-274
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  1. Play and Sport {1962}
  2. pp. 275-278
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  1. Notes on “Play and Philosophy” {1966}
  2. pp. 279-282
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  1. Notes on “The World-Significance of Play” {1973}
  2. pp. 283-292
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  1. Appendices
  1. 1. The Layout of the Volume and Description of the Texts
  2. pp. 295-302
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  1. 2. German Editors’ Afterword
  2. pp. 303-320
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  1. 3. Bibliography of Fink’s Works Available in English
  2. pp. 321-322
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  1. 4. Secondary Literature on Fink in English
  2. pp. 323-326
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 327-346
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  1. Name Index
  2. pp. 347-348
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 349
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