Volume 94, Issue 4, Fall 2020
The Virtue of Somnience
It’s strange that sleep doesn’t come up more when we think of virtue. In this paper, I argue that there is a virtue concerned with sleep, which I call “somnience,” and I develop an account of this virtue. My account of somnience builds on the virtue tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas and recent research about the nature of sleep. In the first section I argue that there is a need for such a virtue. Next, I argue that somnience is a form of temperance. Third, I show how somnience connects to a number of other virtues, which helps us fill out the nature of the virtue. Finally, I argue that sleep also relates to virtue by aiding virtue formation.