Philosophy at Play Conference, 11 and 12 April 2017

The fourth biennial conference was held at the University of Gloucestershire, UK on 11 and 12 April 2017. We welcomed 50 delegates from 18 countries and engaged with 35 papers across a very wide range of aspects of play and philosophy.

All four conferences (and ensuing edited collections of papers published by Routledge) have opened up dialogue and paradigmatic bridge building between scholars of play and philosophers. The conferences have given rise to an emerging community of very diverse scholars interested in a wide range of philosophical areas of enquiry (for example, metaphysics, ontology, aesthetics and ethics) and fields of practice (such as the arts, games and gaming, sport and children’s play).


Keynote Speakers:

Dr Mechthild Nagel: Peacemaking through Ludic Ubuntu
Dr Nagel is Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies (CGIS), State University of New York at Cortland

Dr Wendy Russell and Dr Malcolm MacLean: The Paradoxes of the Philosophy-Play Nexus
Dr Russell is Snr Lecturer in Play and Playwork and Dr MacLean is Reader in the Culture & History of Sport , both at University of Gloucestershire, UK

In addition, an exciting selection of papers was delivered covering philosophies of play within the context of children’s play, art, digital gaming, language, spirituality, architecture and space, performance and much more, covering aesthetics, ontology, epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. See here for more information on the keynote papers and a selection of confirmed papers.

See here for the conference programme.

Might you be interested in hosting the 2019 or 2021 conference? See here for more details and to register your interest.


Got a query? Email us at


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