Urban parks as spaces to pursue virtuous character, friendship, and contemplation: An Aristotelian perspective

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Abstract

Given the complexity of meaning of urban parks in our lives, philosophical inquiry may provide a way to help understand what good urban parks are and what role urban parks can play in people's lives. Our desire to understand underlying meanings of today's urban parks led us to explore Aristotle's writings The Nicomachean Ethics. Hence, we discuss connections between Aristotle's ideas associated with virtuous character, friendship, and contemplation that we conclude are relevant to providing a normative view of urban parks. Such a normative interpretation suggests that urban parks have the potential to create spaces that (a) provide social contexts to encourage virtuous behaviors and moral goodness, (b) help create a safe and stable community through connections between different people or groups, and (c) help enhance people’s possibilities to achieve contemplation during leisure, leading to experiences associated with the good life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

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ethics
friendship
Aristotle
Friendship
moral philosophy
interpretation
community
experience
Group

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Cite this

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abstract = "Given the complexity of meaning of urban parks in our lives, philosophical inquiry may provide a way to help understand what good urban parks are and what role urban parks can play in people's lives. Our desire to understand underlying meanings of today's urban parks led us to explore Aristotle's writings The Nicomachean Ethics. Hence, we discuss connections between Aristotle's ideas associated with virtuous character, friendship, and contemplation that we conclude are relevant to providing a normative view of urban parks. Such a normative interpretation suggests that urban parks have the potential to create spaces that (a) provide social contexts to encourage virtuous behaviors and moral goodness, (b) help create a safe and stable community through connections between different people or groups, and (c) help enhance people’s possibilities to achieve contemplation during leisure, leading to experiences associated with the good life.",
author = "Jaehyun Kim and {Lopez Frias}, {Francisco Javier} and John Dattilo",
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