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Philosophy Walk: Leisure & Loafing

June 7, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm MDT

Merlin MCC | Boots in Grass


The Nuts & Bolts

Please join us for philosophy walk on Sunday, June 7th from 10am-1pm where we’ll be exploring “Leisure & Loafing” with philosopher David Nowakowski.  Our group will meet at the corner of West Lawrence Street & Monroe Avenue and hike up the Daisy Hill Trail form there, as well as sections of the Bitterroot Way, Prairie & 1906 Trails.

What We’ll Be Exploring

Our society has a complicated relationship with leisure, idleness, and rest.  We’re encouraged to “work hard, play hard.”  We wonder about “work-life balance.”  We take pride in how busy we are, how much we get done, how we “just don’t have time for that.”

A century ago, social critics had a completely different concern: What would human life be like in the year 2000, when new technology had freed us from the drudgery of manual labor, and we only had to work for ten hours per week?  What would we do with all of our new-found free time?

In 2019, the average American worker worked more hours per year, had less days off, and kept a smaller percentage of what he produced, than your average peasant in medieval Europe.  Seriously.

Over the last few months, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have forced millions of people into a slower, less productive mode of living, whether they wanted it or not.  What has that been like?  What lessons has this taught us about the value of idleness?

Our conversation will be wide-ranging, addressing many of the following issues and questions:

— Is there a difference between leisure and idleness?

— What do idleness and loafing get such a bad rap?

— Why are leisure, rest, and relaxation important?  It is only for the sake of being able to do more “real work” later, or do they have some intrinsic value of their own?

— How did we get here?  What cultural contexts, philosophical and religious ideas, and historical circumstances have shaped our values around work and leisure?  Are they still relevant today?

— What is the value of leisure for individuals?  For communities?  For society as a whole?

— How, if we’re so inclined, can we cultivate leisure in our own lives?




Daisy Hill Trail
West Lawrence St. & Monroe Ave.
Helena, MT 59601 United States
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Marisa Diaz-Waian
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