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On Work and Rest Seminar
October 8, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
An event every 2 weeks that begins at 1:00 pm on Friday, repeating until November 19, 2021
Recent studies indicate that anxiety “runs rampant” on college campuses, with upwards of 61% of college students reporting anxiety as a “major health concern” and with almost 50% of students screening positive for clinically significant symptoms of depression and anxiety in 2020. While there are many possible causes for this, one contributing factor is conspicuous busyness, the sense that one should always be working, always getting ahead, in both school and life.
This seminar considers classical and contemporary texts on the point and purpose of work and leisure. Aristotle famously argued that “we work to have leisure, on which happiness depends,” but many have the attitude that we rest-up so that we can get back to work.
But Aristotle also (somewhat infamously) didn’t quite understand the point of work itself, perhaps assuming that work, or some kinds of work, were degrading. He might not be the best guide. A life of total work can’t be the good life, but surely work is part of a good life? How ought we understand the value and role of work, and the place and purpose of leisure?
We can’t really understand leisure and work independently. In this seminar we’ll consider the purpose of each within a complete life, within a life lived well.