Brian O’Connor

Aug 31, 2018

Idleness

A Philosophical Essay

Princeton University Press 2018

purchase at bookshop.org Culturally, idleness is widely derided as laziness, uselessness, and sloth. Even within philosophy, the idle are criticized for being wasteful, selfish, and free-loading. Indeed, throughout the history of moral and political philosophy, it is frequently asserted (though not often argued) that humans must be perpetually active, busy, and, in a word, productive? But why? Is there really nothing to be said for idling? In Idleness: A Philosophical Essay (Princeton University Press, 2018), Brian O’Connor examines a range of anti-idleness views, and finds them lacking. He then proposes an alternative according to which idleness is a component of human freedom.

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