Philosophical Toys

The project is dedicated to philosophical toys as tools for the imagination and as models for a theory and/as practice between science and art.

"Philosophical Toys" is a term used for objects that enable us to understand processes, functions, relations and effects.
In contrast to models – that are designed for quite similar purposes, but with the focus on visualization and objectification – Philosophical Toys are more closely related to processes of active research, experiment and knowledge production. Rather than being products, they are instruments of imagination, insight and invention – or, if you want so: tools for thinking by doing, for a synthesis of theory and/as practice. And, perhaps most important: this synthesis is realized in a playful way.

As examples from the history of science prove, this can include a wide range and different "classes" of objects: There are Philosophical Toys specifically developed for a use as scientific toys in the tradition of a "science amusante", serving as didactic tools and communicators for education. Even more intriguing, however, are probably those we can rightly classify as prototypes for inventions (i.e. instruments, machines and other technological products).

The project researches Philosophical Toys in their historic and systematic dimensions. In this context, we take a closer look on the basic principles and functions of Philosophical Toy, on Philosophical Toys as concepts and as objects. However, our main purpose is to ask for a contemporary perspective on the subject matter, with a strong focus on recent developments the intersections of science, art and do it yourself cultures.

What can we get from the history of science and from the cultural history of Philosophical Toys?
How do nowadays Philosophical Toys look like? How do they work?
How can we develop new Philosophical Toys?

Please note:
This site is still under construction. For furter information on lectures, papers and publications related to this project (added step by step) pls. the the project's construction site.

Status of the project: Since 2004/2005, ongoing.


main project: TOYS AND/AS TOOLS

related projects on www.under-construction.cc: A2D2A, D.I.Y. cultures, Home Made, how2how2

related projects on www.visuelle-kultur.info: MITTEL(N), Knowledge of Tools - Tools of Knowledge

tags: art, diy, do it yourself cultures, history of science, inventing & inventions, learning, philosophical toys, play, science, things, tools, toys



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