Article: Remembering Brian Sutton-Smith

Throughout his career, prof. Sutton-Smith sought to answer a set of fundamental questions: What is play? Why do human beings engage in it? What psychological, cognitive and cultural functions does it serve? The answer, he concluded after six decades of study, was one that befit his quicksilver quarry: No single definition could contain it. “Something about the nature of play itself frustrates fixed meaning,” Sutton-Smith wrote in 2008. “Just as some scholars spend their lives consumed by the metaphysics of literature or history or philosophy or theology — you name it — I came to spend mine in search of the metaphysics of play.”

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