Work for rest – Aristotle (Politics, IV, XIII)

Work and culture are the two themes chosen for the 2014 IEP competition.

Aristotle distinguishes two parts in the soul. The first part of the soul possesses reason by itself, the other part does not possess reason but is able to obey it.

After this division, in the same way, Aristotle differentiates two parts in life. At the end of this distinction, Aristotle concludes that work serves only to find rest.Man submits himself to work only to find rest.

The necessary (work, war) is done only in view of the beautiful (rest, peace).

→ Attention: the word work, used by Aristotle, did not have exactly the same meaning as today

§ 8 Life is divided, whatever it may be, into work and rest, war and peace. Among human acts, some relate to the necessary, to the futile; others relate only to the beautiful. A similar distinction must, in these various respects, necessarily be found in the parts of the soul and in their acts: war is waged only with a view to peace; work is accomplished only with a view to rest; the necessary and the useful are sought only with a view to beauty.

Aristotle, Politics, Book IV, Chapter XIII

See also:

->What doesAristotle think about slavery (Politics, Book I)

→ What is the point of cities (Aristotle)

→ Best-Of articles on WORK for IEPs

→ Best-Of articles on CULTURE for IEPs