Philosophy of Leisure: Foundations of the good life, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Philosophy of Leisure

Foundations of the good life, 1st Edition

By Johan Bouwer, Marco van Leeuwen


242 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138369108
pub: 2018-09-10
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Hardback: 9781138911475
pub: 2017-02-23
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315692647
pub: 2017-02-17
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What is leisure? How does leisure relate to leading a good life? This critical and intelligent study interrogates the basic principles of leisure and demonstrates the continuing relevance of these questions for our society today. It not only explores the traditional philosophical concepts at the heart of leisure studies, but also pursues new possibilities for reconceptualising leisure that have emerged from recent developments in society, technology and the broader discipline of philosophy itself.

Approaching leisure from a philosophically inquisitive perspective, the book argues that leisure revolves around the pursuit of happiness, human flourishing and well-being, making it both a state of mind and a state of being. Its exploration of the meaning of leisure addresses key issues such as identity, ethics, spirituality, human experience, freedom, technology, embodiment, well-being, the fundamental properties of leisure and the challenge of offering a meaningful definition.

Revitalising the subject of leisure studies with its originality, Philosophy of Leisure: Foundations of the Good Life is fascinating reading for all students and scholars of leisure studies, philosophy, sociology, psychology and ethics.

Table of Contents


[Tony Blackshaw]


Part I: Leisure Ideas in History

1. Leisure Ideas in History

Intermezzo:The times, they are a changin’

Part II: Foundations of Leisure

2. Leisure and Freedom

3. Leisure and Meaningful Experiences

4. Leisure and Identity

5. Leisure and Ethics

Intermezzo:Leisure, Postmodern Experience and Care

Part III: Future Directions

6. Embodiment and Virtual Leisure

7. Leisure and Spirituality: Fertile new approaches

8. Leisure, Wellbeing and Self-Construal

9. Idealistic Leisure in a Dynamic World

Concluding Thoughts

About the Authors

Johan Bouwer is Professor of Ethics in Business and Profession at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. Formerly, he held the positions of Senior Researcher in Meaning and Leisure at the Academy for Leisure, Director of Research and acting Rector Magnificus at the same university. He received his PhD from the Free University in Amsterdam in 1992. From 1997 to 2008, he was Professor of Spiritual Care in Health Care Institutions at Groningen University and the PThU in Kampen, the Netherlands

Marco van Leeuwen is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Coordinator of the academic Leisure Studies programme at the Academy for Leisure, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. He received his PhD from Radboud University Nijmegen in 2009 on the embodied and embedded cognition paradigm in the philosophy of psychology. He has published in refereed publications on dynamical systems theory, meaningful experiences, health and well-being, internet and social media, ethics and leisure theory

About the Series

Routledge Critical Leisure Studies

The modern world is one that holds an intense fascination with the activities we place under the heading ‘leisure’. Rather than simply being the opposite of ‘work’, ‘leisure’ today can be seen as a form of social and cultural life in which ‘work’ and ‘leisure’ intersect and mutually inform one another.

This series is a forum for agenda-setting research that examines our contemporary world of leisure. It places a strong emphasis not only on mapping current developments in individual and collective leisure activities, but also on challenging our understanding of these from different perspectives. Providing detailed empirical and theoretical accounts, this series explores the critical issues that underpin people’s leisure lives at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

While this series is devoted to leisure, many of its books touch on other subject fields, contributing to interdisciplinary studies and appealing to readers from across the social sciences and the humanities.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General