For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Work and the Meaning of Being"

by Mei, Todd S (2019)


Western philosophical accounts of work tend to focus on necessity as its chief defining attribute. The relation of work to the question of the meaning of being is therefore circumscribed by the ways in which work can be said to fulfill necessary ends. There are two consequences of this view which delineate the philosophy of work. Work is either merely necessary for existence in order for us to be able to engage in higher activities—a view attributed to Aristotle. Or, work is the principal activity defining human existence as such—the thesis advocated by Karl Marx. This chapter examines the arguments of each view. The chapter concludes with an alternative account attempting to forge a more substantial role for work in relation to the meaning of being: work is essentially metaphorical in nature as opposed to being only necessary.


Meaningful Work, Arendt, Aristotle, Marx, Freedom, Poiesis, Praxis, Ricoeur, Being


On Heidegger, Meaningful Work

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