Some readers have expressed interest in the line of thought in my previous post, and especially my reference to Aristotle.
I’d suggest a longer treatment of the argument in Josef Pieper’s Leisure: The Basis of Culture. Slim book by a strong Catholic philosopher. About it the New York Times Book Review says, “Pieper’s message for us is plain…. The idolatry of the machine, the worship of mindless know-how, the infantile cult of youth and the common mind-all this points to our peculiar leadership in the drift toward the slave society…. Pieper’s profound insights are impressive and even formidable.”
On the first page Pieper writes: “It is essential to begin by reckoning with the fact that one of the foundations of Western culture is leisure. That much, at least, can be learnt from the first chapter of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. And even the history of the word attests the fact: for leisure in Greek is skole, and in Latin scola, the English ’school.’ The word used to designate the palce where we educate and teach is derived from a word which means ‘leisure’. ‘School’ does not, properly speaking, mean school, but leisure.”
This is an important philosophical critique of Modern culture and our captivity to endless doing. It plumbs the classic tradition inviting us into the spiritual intelligence necessary not just to survive but to thrive.