Finding Meaning via Contemplative Leisure

James B. WISE


The relationship between leisure and meaning lacks a clear, well-developed, philosophical underpinning. To address the situation, this article reports the results of a qualitative investigation aimed at formulating and articulating such a foundation. Hermeneutics, the investigation’s guiding methodology, involved the researcher reading multiple works authored by two prominent philosophers who studied meaning, Viktor Frankl and Martin Heidegger, as well as two works authored by Josef Pieper, a philosopher who extensively studied meaning and leisure. Based on his interpretation of the texts, the present author generated a philosophically based foundation conveying the importance of finding meanings, outlining how meanings come about, and describing contemplative leisure’s role in discovering meanings. The article concludes with two practical applications aimed at helping recreation practitioners support people’s pursuit of meaningful lives.

Keywords: Josef Pieper, Leisure, Martin Heidegger, Recreation, Viktor Frankl

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