Translation of the Preface, Introduction, and Chaters I and II of Dr. Irmgard Kowatzki's Book Entitled The Concept of Play as an Aesthetic Phenomenon
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I began the research project with the intention of · finding an unambiguous definition for Schiller's concept of the aesthetic instinct of play. First of all I became engrossed in the "Letters Concerning the Aesthetic Education of Man" in order to clarify what "play" means in the thought processes pursued here. However, because Schiller had again and again taken different points of departure in order to adjust the concept of play to his philosophical speculations. The sought clarity proved itself here already as ambiguity. My occupation with the evaluation of the concept through the secondary literature resulted in a still more confusing state of affairs. The concept of play was interpreted differently again and again, each time according to the method applied or the philosophical thoughts to which a researcher felt bound. However, where Schiller had left the meaning of the concept of play open, so that it could take on many shades of meaning, most of the researchers defined "play" as this and nothing else, so that all explanations of the concept eventually had to deviate from each other. Here my fascination with the historical nature of the concept of play began, however not only with reference to its critical interpretation. Even where authors of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries had taken over the concept of play previously shaped by Schiller as a model for their poetic acting, the content of the concept and thus the interpretation of poetic creating, changed.Missing page 52.