Endless summer: What kinds of games will Suits’ utopians play?

Yorke, Christopher C. (2017). Endless summer: What kinds of games will Suits’ utopians play? Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 44(2) pp. 213–228.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00948705.2017.1316668


I argue that we have good reason to reject Bernard Suits’ assertion that game-playing is the ideal of human existence, in the absence of a suitably robust account of utopian games. The chief motivating force behind this rejection rests in the fact that Suits begs the question that there exists some possible set of games-by-design in his utopia, such that the playing of (a sufficient number of) its members would sustain an existentially meaningful existence for his utopians, in the event of a hypo-instrumental culture of material superabundance obtaining. But the set of utopian games is unknown and unknowable. Thus any implications of Suits’ vision for the utilization of our leisure time in the present are vitiated by the collapse of his normative ideal: his ‘metaphysics of leisure’ misses its mark.

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