Stephen Asma Reclaiming The Power Of Play Summary

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“Reclaiming the Power of Play” by Stephen T. Asma is an article about how there should be more philosophical studies appreciating the intrinsic value of play.

In this article, Asma writes about how play is important and how it is important not just because of its extrinsic value but its intrinsic value. Yet, philosophical writing currently doesn’t reflect that and should do so.

To prove this claim, Asma has four main points. Firstly, that play is important. Secondly, that where play that philosophers have had little interest in play and philosophers do take interest in play, it is generally negatively. Thirdly, that appreciations of play are generally based on extrinsic, “secret utility value”. Lastly, that the true value of play is in its intrinsic value and by evaluating play by its extrinsic value we short-change it and ourselves.

At first glance, “Reclaiming the Power of Play” may seem like a persuasive piece of writing of philosophy on play. However, upon careful review and appraisal of the piece, it can be seen that “Reclaiming the Power of Play” contains erroneous reasoning, fallacies and insufficient evidence to prove several of its claims.

One major issue with “Reclaiming the Power of Play” is its lack of clear and consistent definitions of play and leisure.

In paragraph 3 of the article, Asma uses Aristotle as one example of how play is generally negatively viewed by philosophers, stating
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