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Reflective Leisure and Recreation

  • Hayden Ramsay

Abstract

The big question for my thesis is asked by John Hemingway: ‘is Aristotelian leisure compatible with liberal democracy?’1 Hemingway argues that it is not. The possibility of leisure in modern democracies depends on the ability to consume; reflective leisure is the antithesis of consumption; therefore, it has no place in our modern democracies. Modern leisure ideas and practices are passive and individualistic. Reflective leisure radically challenges these notions of self and value, and our understanding of work and leisure, and thus can have no foothold in our democracies.

Keywords

Human Nature Leisure Activity Basic Good Liberal Democracy Human Capacity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    See, for example, Michael Casey Meaninglessness: the solutions of Nietzsche, Freud, and Rorty (Melbourne: Freedom, 2001);Google Scholar
  2. Roger Scruton An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture (South Bend IN: St Augustine’s Press, 2000);Google Scholar
  3. Susan Haack Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998);Google Scholar
  4. Martha Nussbaum Sex and Social Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Meanwhile, full, modern versions of natural law theory have been provided by German Grisez, and collaborators John Finnis and Joseph Boyle, as well as a range of supporters and challengers from within natural law ethics, including Ralph McInerny, Benedict Ashley, Robert George, Russell Hittinger, and others.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    See Philippa Foot Natural Goodness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), especially Ch. 3, for a recent (though different) response in the same tradition as the present work.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 5.
    See R. Sokolowski Introduction to Phenomenology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000) for a discussion of phenomenological method.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    For clear presentation of the new natural law, see German Grisez The Way of the Lord Jesus Vol. I (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1983);Google Scholar
  8. John Finnis Natural Law and Natural Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980) and Fundamentals of Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983);Google Scholar
  9. Joseph Boyle, John Finnis, and Germain Grisez Nuclear Deterrence, Morality and Realism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989);Google Scholar
  10. and Robert George (ed.) Natural Law Theory: contemporary essays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  11. 8.
    Different versions of the method of reflection on one’s own (and others’) life and choices have been utilised in contemporary natural law thinking. For example, see Finnis Natural Law and Natural Rights, Chs 3 and 4, Timothy Chappell Understanding Human Goods: a theory of ethics (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998), Ch. 2, and George Natural Law Theory, Ch. 2.Google Scholar
  12. For intelligent discussion of lists of basic human goods, see Sabina Alkire ‘The basic dimensions of human flourishing: a comparison of accounts’ in Nigel Biggar and Rufus Black (eds) The Revival of Natural Law: philosophical, theological, and ethical responses to the Finnis-Grisez school (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000).Google Scholar
  13. 9.
    See Justin Oakley Morality and the Emotions (London: Routledge, 1992) for a straightforward presentation.Google Scholar
  14. Martha Nussbaum Upheavals of Thought (Cambridge: CUP, 2001), Ch. 1 and Hiding from Humanity: disgust, shame, and the law (New York: Princeton University Press, 2004) offers the sharpest presentation of this ancient view (also discussed in Sherman Making a Necessity of Virtue, Ch. 2).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 10.
    Aquinas Summa, 1, 59, 4. See Aidan Nichols Discovering Aquinas (London: Darton, Longman, and Todd, 2002), Ch. 6 for recent discussion of angelology.Google Scholar
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    McCabe Law, Love and Language (London: Sheen and Ward, 1969), p. 74. My account in this section is heavily indebted to McCabe’s ‘plain English’ and Wittgensteinian reading of Aquinas. For more, see his God Matters (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1987) and God Still Matters (London: Continuum, 2002).Google Scholar
  17. 14.
    Schopenhauer, trans., E. F. Payne The World As Will and Representation (New York: Dover, 1969), 2: 18. Schopenhauer can be read instructively alongside Nagel’s work on the objective and subjective perspectives, including The View From Nowhere.Google Scholar
  18. 15.
    Elizabeth Anscombe Intention (Oxford: Blackwell, 1957), p. 68.Google Scholar
  19. 16.
    See, for example, Aquinas Summa 1, 82, 4; 2–2 58, 4. See Robert Pasnau Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature (Cambridge: CUP, 2002), Chs 7 and 8 for an account of the will. The alternative view — that will is a purely psychological response to intellectual apprehension of the good — would require the body to be motivated instrumentally so as to act upon our willing. But human beings are psychophysical unities, and their bodily pursuit of ends is not caused by mental attraction but is the natural embodiment or enactment of mental attraction.Google Scholar
  20. 17.
    See Jean Porter The Recovery of Virtue (London: SPCK press, 1990) for good discussion of justice and the will for the common good.Google Scholar
  21. 18.
    See Anthony Kenny Aquinas on Mind (London: Routledge, 1993), Ch. 4;Google Scholar
  22. Christopher Martin The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (London: Routledge, 1988), Ch. 5.Google Scholar
  23. 19.
    For an excellent range of views, see A. Mele and P. Rawling (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Rationality (Oxford: University of Oxford Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    There is still no better discussion of conscience as con-scientia than Eric D’Arcy Conscience and Its Right to Freedom (London: Sheed and Ward, 1961).Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    For example, see Pope John Paul II Fides et Ratio (Sydney: St Paul’s, 1998), 81, on the need for philosophy to ‘recover its sapiential dimension as a search for the ultimate and overarching meaning of life.’Google Scholar
  26. And see the discussion of this by John Haldane in ‘The Diversity of Philosophy and the Unity of its Vocation’ in Anthony Fisher OP and Hayden Ramsay (eds) Faith or Reason: friends or foes in the new millennium? (Hindmarsh, SA: ATF Press, 2004).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hayden Ramsay 2005

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  • Hayden Ramsay

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