Creating the self: the intersubjective nature of experience, self-development, and the phenomenon of play
thesisposted on 2021-05-22, 10:51 authored by Jessica A. Blackwell
The purpose of this project is to present a phenomenological account of the role of play in early self-development. Using the writings of Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Winnicott, Laing, Beauvoir, and a selection of modern psychologists, this project argues that play is an essential component of childhood self-development. Starting with the claim that all human experience is inherently intersubjective, this project argues that other people play a crucial role in shaping our sense of self and who we become. From the moment we are born, other people play a critical and constant role in shaping our perception of who we are and who we can become. It is argued that play, like linguistic communication, is itself a necessarily intersubjective phenomenon, and that authentic acts of play are essentially a matter of the child learning about the nature of reality and other people, and of striving to make sense of these things while simultaneously working on creating the self.