An Outline of an Ontology of the Toy

Дарко Тодоровић

Година издања: 2021 .
Формат (цм): 24 цм
Број страна: 191

The title An Outline of an Ontology of the Toy may seem puzzling at first glance, but it aptly describes the aim of this study, which is to clarify the status of the notion of 'toy' within the Aristotelian dichotomy of ordinary objects (either of natural or artificial origin) and artistic ones, constituting works of art in the narrow sense (which, for Aristotle, was above all the art of poetry). Yet the Stagirite does not express himself explicitly anywhere on the ontological status of toys (paignia), so the present research has focused on a topic that is both original and challenging. In my opinion, the author proved to be equal to the task he assigned to himself. After a thorough consideration, divided into eight chapters, he comes to the conclusion that, understood in an Aristotelian key, toys can be interpreted as a special kind of imitation (mimema) of Platonic Ideas. Whether traceable back to Aristotle or not, such an interpretation appears to be generally suited to our modern concepts of toy and of play or game. On the other hand, in studying the traditional, pre- philosophical cultures it is often hard to draw the line between a toy and a cult object, a play and a ritual performance. As it is explicitly indicated at the beginning of the 'Introductory Note', the author has left unconsidered the (culturo)historical aspect of the problem. Yet at the end of the same section, he states that what follows is a kind of preparatory study for a treatise on the world of the work of art, which will hopefully give him the opportunity to broaden his strictly ontological approach with some insights provided by cultural anthropology, including the 'prehistory' of toys. As for the present book, it offers a well-thought-out and methodologically consistent analysis of its subject. Such serious scholarly work undoubtedly deserves to be presented to the academic world.

Professor Aleksandar Loma (from the review)

Philosophical in its ultimate goal, this book, with its conception and execution—fabric and pattern, as it were—represents a tour de force of classical philology as a science that proves the historicity of the timeless. The author's knowledge of classics and classical tradition is impressive in every way, and especially rare is his ability to use the classical erudition, which is otherwise likely to remain stored in learned heads as on shelves, for a purpose, and to put it into operation. On the way to his theorem, he moves through writers, books, epochs and languages with a confidence that we today mostly ascribe to the 'potentates of olden times', the professors of our professors.

Professor Vojin Nedeljković (from the review)

Drawing on the conceptual apparatus of Aristotelian philosophy, the author examines the mimetic nature of early cognitive learning, giving particular attention to the ontological status of toys and games as the primary tools and techniques applied in the educational process. ... The monograph reveals the author of a great erudition, it is characterized by thoroughness, methodical systematicity, valuable insights and carefully selected examples. It is a novelty, not only in Serbian culture.

Professor Irina Deretić (from the review)

The author follows the inner logic of his work, leaving the reader to interpret it freely. The manuscript is divided into chapters the scope of which is appropriate to their content. This contributes to clarity and facilitates the reader's understanding of the work, which is demanding in its content, as it presupposes knowledge of several areas, such as philosophy, especially ontology and history of philosophy (ancient, medieval, modern), ancient Greek and Latin, history of language, art history, classical and broad general education.

Dr Boris Milosavljević (from the review)


Darko Todorović is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. In addition to the Serbian translation of Seneca's Oedipus, accompanied by a monograph on Roman drama (2016), he published translations of various authors of Greek and Roman Antiquity and the Middle Ages, as well as a large number of articles in ancient and Byzantine philology, published in major national and international journals and collections of essays.

ISBN ISBN 978-86-6427-195-0