“All man’s gifts and faculties are not necessarily useful in a practical way; though there is no denying that they belong to a truly human life, not strictly speaking necessary, even though he could not do without them.” Faculties without practicality challenge my American pragmatic sensibility. It indeed challenges things I’ve learned since childhood. If it is not practical, its not needed, many have told me. Philosophizing and leisure are not practical. They are not necessarily productive, despite their obvious goodness. Furthermore, they are contemplative. They require silence. Silence challenges contemporary culture’s promotion of noise. I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop. The Coffee Shop XM radio station is playing. It’s not loud enough to be annoying, but it’s loud enough to be distracting It is preventing me from fully entering into leisure. Indeed, there’s a certain bit of irony in that.
Pragmatism, the Enemy of Leisure?
Posted on July 16, 2010 // 2 Comments
A reflection on and with a quote from the Author’s Preface to the English Edition of Leisure: the Basis of Culture