Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Author(s): Josef Pieper

Words & Ideas

In this elegantly written (and produced) work, Josef Pieper introduces the reader to an understanding that leisure is nothing less than "an attitude of mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world." Beginning with the Greeks, and through a series of philosophic, religious, and historical examples, Pieper demonstrates that "Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture." Of the frenetic contemporary clamor for things, entertainment, and distraction, Pieper observes, "in our bourgeois Western world total labor has vanquished leisure. Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for non-activity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture -- and ourselves." For, to Pieper, slavery is a state of mind and soul into which entire peoples descend when mental, moral, spiritual, and political independence is corrupted by a preoccupation with material well-being. Long unavailable, this reprint of the original edition of 1952 includes an introduction by T. S. Eliot.

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Product Information

Josef Pieper (1904-1997) was an influential German Catholic philosopher, scholar, and author.

General Fields

  • : 9780865972100
  • : Liberty Fund Inc
  • : Liberty Fund Inc
  • : December 1998
  • : 125mm X 200mm X 16mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 306.4182
  • : 137
  • : Josef Pieper
  • : Hardback