Leisure, the Basis of Culture

Josef Pieper

For, when we consider the foundations of Western European culture (is it, perhaps, too rash to assume that our re-building will in fact be carried out in a ”Western” spirit? Indeed, this and no other is the very assumption that is at issue today.), one of these foundations is leisure. We can read it in the first chapter of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. And the very history of the meaning of the word bears a similar message. The Greek word for leisure (σχoλη´) is the origin of Latin scola, German Schule, English school. The name for the institutions of education and learning means ”leisure”.

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