The virtues of wild leisure

Environmental Ethics 27 (4):355-373 (2005)
Abstract
The land ethic of Aldo Leopold has increasingly received attention as an example of an environmental virtue ethic. However, an important remaining question is how to cultivate and transmit environmental virtues. The answer to this question can be found in the pursuit of wild leisure. The classical view of leisure primarily as articulated in Aristotle’s Politics provides a good starting point for an examination of wild leisure. Leopold thought wild leisure was important and associated it with his land ethic. Leopold’s view of wild leisure focused on the role of perception in ecological education and the habituation of virtue. The classical virtue of moderation when habituated by wild leisure becomes the central virtue required by an ecological conscience. Wild leisure educates just those intellectual and scientific virtues necessary for refined perception and prudence. These virtues provide connections between good citizenship and land citizenship
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