This essay was shortlisted for the New Philosopher Essay Prize
The relationship between work and flourishing has been a vexed one in moral thought. Aristotle insisted, for instance, that time spent in leisure was essential to living the good life and that the ultimate life (eudaimonia) would consist entirely in leisurely contemplation of philosophy. By contrast, religious traditions – in particular, Christianity – insist that work is a necessary activity of a life well lived. For this latter claim to be true we would need to establish work as a source of moral value.