Volume 93, 2019
Aristotle on Activity as a Variety of Rest
Aristotle employs three distinct but interrelated concepts of rest: kinetic rest, energic rest, and telic rest. The third variety, telic rest, is crucial to Aristotle’s natural philosophy. Anything that moves or acts by nature does so in part for the sake of realizing its form more completely. There is, in the fullest attainment of this good, a kind of rest without cessation or destruction. The peace that telic rest affords is not a kind of stasis; it consists in perfect and complete activity. By clarifying the varieties of rest Aristotle employs, I aim to provide a richer understanding of Aristotelian natures. By emphasizing the role of telic rest, I aim to illuminate a universal and perennial aspect of the human condition, an aspect that both drives us to gain knowledge of the natural world and unites us with that world’s divine cause.