Bite-Sized Philosophy

Alan Watts On The Lost Art Of Play

How The Distinction We Draw Between Work And Play Makes Us Miserable

R. C. Abbott
4 min readJul 16, 2021

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Screen shot from Ingmar Bergman’s film The Passion of Anna. Black and white close up of a woman’s face. She seems to be in despair. The subtitle says: I didn’t think that life would amount to such daily suffering.
Photo credit: CriterionBabe. The Passion of Anna 1969, Ingmar Bergman

In one of Alan Watts’ classic essays, Work As Play, he draws our attention to a common philosophical error: misunderstanding the very nature of work and play. He describes our sense of play or having fun as something that does not…

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