Summary: Toy semiotics and the play triad

It is important to emphasise that none of the three parts of this triad  - primary sign, object/case, interpretant - can be left out if we are concerned with a sign as defined by Peirce. It is also important to stress that the play triad - firstness, secondness and thirdness - form a unit and an entity at thirdness level as long as we are talking of “the great play”, play’s euphoria, “deep play” - all three being terms to describe one and the same thing.

Together and individually, the expressions express an entity:

For the person-at-play in firstness play, the fundamental starting point is toy classification and material definition. If/when this happens, it expresses the fact that the person-at-play mentally “gets hold of” the complexity of the sign.

Secondness play’s experimenting and often conflicting relation to the toy makes it possible for the person-at-play to relate to the mutual complex relations between several signs.

Thirdness play is an individually interpreted demonstration of the game and the toy and shows the person-at-play in a state of harmonious comprehension of the signs’ mutual legitimacy.

As the person-at-play in thirdness play is able to evaluate the toy’s possibilities while simultaneously and harmoniously reflecting within his environment, displaying his cognition and showing understanding, tolerance and openness, I must once again state that thirdness - an advanced state and an optimum interpretation - does not often occur often!

The characteristic that all the elements mentioned must be mastered - which in the end gives rise to thirdness play - is the finest and highest level the human being at play can achieve and experience - but incredibly many, very different elements and assumptions have to meet for this to be the case!



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