On Creativity, Inutility and Play

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Abstract

The article deals with the topic of play as the background for creativity. Methodologically, the study is based on a phenomenological- hermeneutical approach. This means we do not base our questions on predefined terms, but rather aim to search for them. Thus, in pursuit of questioning the phenomenon of creativity, we explore other phenomena - play, education (paideia) and utility (pragma). To picture the relationships between these phenomena we borrow two symbolic figures - Socrates and Pippi Longstocking. Socrates appears here as the symbol of wondering and the antidote to all false sophistication (and thus true education), and Pippi as the exemplar par excellence of free, joyous and thoroughly inutile play. In the article we aim to expose the inutile and creative character of play as its greatest benefit. Our line of questioning follows the traditions of Czech philosophy of education, represented by Jan Patočka.

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