Perspectives concerning play with toys

Play is confirmation between people. Confirmation occurs on the basis of living processes, dependent on what the persons-at-play feel, comprehend and think. Play is also a confrontation in which the persons-at-play sense new recognition and understanding.

Toys as objects and implements represent a substance connecting the many facets of relationships between the persons-at-play or between the persons-at-play and the toys. Such relationships occur in a universe which is dependent on both relativity and logic and which requires dialogue. Dialogue, conversation, play and interaction are matters of trust, openness, mutuality, immediacy and intimacy.

When play is true, the dialogic is metaphysical. The persons-at-play can experiment with the dialogic.

The dialogics of play exist in three different phases. Each of these depends on the person-at-play concluding different situations of play in three phases - firstness, secondness or thirdness (based on necessity, existence and probability, respectively) in order to fully comprehend these terms within the dialogue.

The relationship between these terms is therefore an expression of realism. The terms must be seen as eternal logical phenomena because if, for example, we are to understand the being and value of a person or thing, we know from experience (through intimacy, dialogue and experimentation) that we must investigate how the person or thing acts and what concrete consequences we can expect their actions to have.

In play - in firstness - things are sensed and experienced within the perspective of the time in which play takes place. Experimentation and exploration with the things become logical events which exist regardless of how they are thought up by the person-at-play. The person-at play tackles events, things and implements mechanically and thinks of them as if they were subject to laws, which are real even though their causes are unknown.

The transition to secondness is characterised by the absence of the regularity of temporal logic. The person-at-play knows exactly what the events (encounters) are - but he never really knows when or in what order they will occur. Furthermore, he is not able to describe the laws governing them and cannot give a logical explanation for what is happening.

In the transition to thirdness, the legitimacy of the event (encounter) consists of the opportunity to predict that someone or something will act in a certain way in certain thinkable circumstances. Ego-consciousness in the way the person-at-play acts will bear the signs of self-awareness.

As in so many other cases where toys are concerned, problems and criteria associated with evaluation of objects are tripartite because the toy is a sign, a symbol and interprets the time in which it is produced.

Triadic areas of research within metaphysics - and construction of the play triad itself - suggest that a toy or an object used in play can be interpreted in terms of a triad:

“A sign, or Representamen, is a First which stands in such a genuine triadic relation to a Second, called its Object, as to be capable of determining a Third, called its Interpretant, to assume the same triadic relation to its Object in which it stands itself to the same Object.”

Consciously or unconsciously, we attribute value to phenomena (e.g. toys) and actions (e.g. play) in our environment. In the same way, we make conscious choices between familiar norms and values - without, however, pronouncing any form of categorical judgement expressed as a positive statement!

Any thing or object, prefabricated as a toy or not, will always be emphasised in play on the strength of its own value or meaning because the person-at-play makes his subjective choice, constructs connections, conflict structures and courses of action within the fictive framework of play.

As long as a given toy reflects society and as long as play reflects a true problem, it is not difficult to list moral requirements for the presence of the universal pragmatic theses. However, the persons-at-play definitely do not always agree on the extent to which the toy is false, play a sham and the dialogue simply a game. Meanwhile, the question of whether a “truth” is a real truth or a real lie belongs in the realm of existentialism.

Under any circumstances, the idea of “deception” in this connection can be legitimately used if we consider that we are all equally capable of testing each other’s threshold for truth - or capacity for cheating convincingly.


Research perspectives

1. The forms of expression and being in firstnessplay are unconscious but fundamental for general human development. There are avenues for exploring tragic perspectives for the individual’s capacity for sensing and then recognising in cases where the imaginative forms of expression and being are not accepted as natural and human.

2. The encounters, moments and often violent confrontations leading to recognitionin secondness play form the basis of understanding, openness, self reflection and social/individual consciousness.

There are avenues for exploring the tragic perspectives of the individual person’s opportunities for existential experiences and confirmations in cases where a confrontation between two opposing parties and time for the individual to reflect are not accepted as being natural and human.

3. The consciousness, tolerance, harmonyand mastery of situations and episodes in thirdness play are the foundation of the individual’s consciousness of his own harmony and identity. There are avenues for exploring the tragic perspectives of the individual person’s opportunities for attaining a position of personal strength and identity in cases where the opportunity for developing and demonstrating personal characteristics and capacities are not accepted as natural and human.



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