Identify three differences between Aristotle’s and Epicurus’s approaches to leisure.

Both philosophers agree that leisure is the main purpose of life. A few key differences are how they define a leisure activity, the relationship of wealth to leisure, and the purpose of leisure.

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Aristotle and Epicurius both believe that happiness is the goal of human life and that leisure is the key to happiness. But they differ in what they think constitutes true leisure.

For Aristotle, leisure means living a pleasurable life. This means not working. Work for Aristotle is the pursuit of an activity for some higher end, whereas leisure activities are done for their own sake. Politics and war can be noble activities, but if they pursue a extrinsic goal, they cannot be seen as leisurely.

Aristotle's definition of leisure is closely connected to material well-being and wealth. For Aristotle, one gains leisure by not working, and having a lot of money makes it easier not to work. This means that truly "leisurely" pursuits, like private reflection and study, are generally only possible for the rich. In Aristotle's formulation, then, the wealthy were those best able to live a life of leisure.

Epicurius also values leisure, but his emphasis is less on physical pleasure than on a certain tranquility of mental and physical tranquility. That is, he believes that leisure is a freedom from stress—either physical pain, or mental turmoil. In this sense, Epicurius's version of happiness does not specifically depend on wealth. In fact, Epicurius feels that what we would call "materialism"—the desire for a bigger house, a better car, and so forth—contributes more to strife and unhappiness. Instead, true leisure means engaging in simple activities, such as philosophical conversation or the companionship of a friend.

The two philosophers also differ on the purpose of leisure. Aristotle sees leisure as the exercise of virtue in the pursuit of a good moral character, whereas Epicurius sees virtue as a byproduct of a stress-free, tranquil life.

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