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Can we understand playing a game as an action within reality rather than an escape or departure from reality? In this presentation, we will explore the concepts of “game” and “reality” while seeking answers to this question. Our starting point will be Plato’s claim from his work “Laws,” where he argued that playing games is even more serious than the life-and-death matter of wars and that the true way of life involves living through playing games. To comprehend Plato’s thesis, we will delve into the history of games and examine how games have evolved from ritual practices to the present day, drawing from the alternative narratives of Huizinga and Caillois. Finally, we will apply what we have learned about the concept of games to various films and artworks, exploring the possibilities of developing an “ethics of play” that applies to our entire lives.


Umur Başdaş

After having graduated from the German High School of Istanbul and Boğaziçi University, Umur Başdaş completed his Ph.D. at Yale University in the field of political philosophy and started working as an Assist. Prof. at Koç University. In his dissertation, he examined the evolution of the concept of “nature” in the Critical Theory tradition. Through aesthetic readings of Kant, Hegel, Fichte and Adorno, he criticized Habermas’s reduction of nature to a mute object. In his subsequent works, he focused on the intertwinement of being and beauty in Kant and on the relationship between logic and consciousness in Hegel. He currently continues to contemplate on the connection between aesthetics and ontology.

Game and Reality