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January 15, 2010

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Pat Kane

I'm not being a pest, Will, but you are very clever, and once I start reading your posts... Yes, humour is a kind of safety-valve for what Schiller (talking of Kant) described as the competing demands of the sense-drive and the form-drive. For Schiller, spooked by the rolling tumbrils and mad rationalism of the French Revolution, the play-drive was the great moderator/sublimator of high reason and low animality. Thing for me is whether play ONLY has this regulatory function in our species-being. So much stuff at the moment (Stuart Brown, Marc Bekoff) coming from ethology and biology about how play might well be the foundation of ethics and reciprocity - look up YouTube videos for 'dog and cat playing' and you see an amazing spectacle of physical powers limited and extended, and meta-behaviour performed, in service of the game of sociability. I'm wondering whether there's something about the Net that is homologous with, a deep extension of, this social-fabric-building element of mammalian play - explored it a bit in this paper http://www.theplayethic.com/2009/11/play-potentiality-and-the-constitution-of-the-net.html best, pk

tony

Brilliant post! We've highlighted on openDemocracy.

Tony

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