farniente (n)

French for idleness, or literally, do-nothing. Originally from Rousseau, who rejoices in idleness, or his “precious far niente.”

Heinrich Meier in On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life, claims the phrase “refers to an activity of a unique sort… a ‘delightful and necessary pursuit of a man who has devoted himself to idleness.”

Meier notes that Rousseau’s first use of the term is within the context of “not having to read and write.” This is a sentiment we here at Grad School Vocab understand profoundly.

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