Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Angela Schneider


Play is a fundamental experience embedded within human culture. We all play in some perceptible manner that provides our lives with meaning we don’t ordinarily feel from other pursuits that are means-ended. Sport philosophers have depended upon the seminal theories of Huizinga and Caillois to shape their constraints on the play world. Huizinga’s and Caillois’ definition both use formal analysis to protect the play sphere however, their theories fail in providing justifiable reason to protect the play sphere and the meaning it has. I propose that understanding play from the perspective of existentialism provides a better way to understand its meaning and truly understand how it shapes the understanding of play, games, and sports with the field of the philosophy of sport.