Vol. 10 No. 1 (2017): Ways of imitation

Toys as Mimetic Objects. A Problem from Plato’s Laws

Stephen Kidd
Brown University, Rhode Island
Published July 11, 2017
  • Toys,
  • Plato,
  • Paidia,
  • Mimesis
How to Cite
Kidd, S. (2017). Toys as Mimetic Objects. A Problem from Plato’s Laws. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 10(1), 97-105. https://doi.org/10.13128/Aisthesis-20910


What is a toy? As objects of play, toys seem to be inextricably bound up with mimesis: a child plays ‘make believe’, for example, with a doll or toy cart. But as I will show, Plato has a very different conception of toys from the modern one which tends to conceive of play as essentially mimetic. Toys do not derive their pleasure from being mimetic objects; rather, they are essentially pleasure objects and as such only incidentally mirror the objects of a ‘serious’ or ‘real’ world.


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