Aristotle: True leisure is not relaxation.


The Noble Leisure Project” gives an excellent explanation of Aristotle’s concept of leisure.  Far from being mere passivity/relaxation, true leisure is an activity, and an activity in which a person finds their greatest fulfillment.  But leisure is not just any activity: it consists of the activities that are most properly human.  (Determining what these activities are is one of the goals of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.)

In general, then, the hierarchy for Aristotle goes something like this:

relaxation -> (done for the sake of) -> work -> (done for the sake of) -> leisure (done for its own sake)

How, then, should we arrange our lives and our daily schedules, so that we have time for all three of these?

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