A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
By Johan Huizinga
(Beacon Press (MA), Paperback, 9780807046814, 240pp.)
Publication Date: June 1971
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"A happier age than ours once made bold to call our species by the name of "Homo Sapiens." In the course of time we have come to realize that we are not so reasonable after all as the Eighteenth Century with its worship of reason and naive optimism, though us; "hence moder fashion inclines to designate our species as"Homo Faber" Man the Maker. But though "faber" may not be quite so dubious as sapiens it is, as a name specific of the human being, even less appropriate, seeing that many animals too are makers. There is a third function, howver, applicable to both human and animal life, and just as important as reasoning and making--namely, playing. it seems to me that next to "Homo Faber," and perhaps on the same level as "Homo Sapiens," Homo Ludens, Man the Player, deserves a place in our nomenclature. "--from the Foreward, by Johan Huizinga.