- Sinnvolle Arbeit und Autonomie
- Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie
- Volume | Issue number
- 60 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
The idea of "meaningful work" has attracted relatively little attention during the past decades. Most
contemporary social and political theories - liberal as well as recognition theories - hold it to be either superfluous or impossible to conceptualize the value or the meaning of work. The idea of autonomy, value pluralism and the difficulty to neutrally, uncontestedly conceptualize meaningful work has lead to the conviction that no normative theory of work is necessary or feasible. I think that both on empirical and normative grounds this general idea is mistaken; it must be possible, as I shall demonstrate, to philosophically criticise meaningless work because it is meaningless, undignified, or alienating. Therefore, what is needed is a normative theory of just working conditions, which includes a normative theory of meaningful work: a theory of the justice of work has to encompass meaningful work.
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