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Capitalism Beyond Mutuality?Perspectives Integrating Philosophy and Social Science$
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Subramanian Rangan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825067

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825067.001.0001

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As You Like It

As You Like It

Work, Life, and Satisfaction

(p.139) Chapter 8 As You Like It
Capitalism Beyond Mutuality?

David Autor

Philip Kitcher

Oxford University Press

To what extent and how does economic work relate to life satisfaction? Over the past century, work or a job has become crucial to gaining a livelihood. Writers have also suggested that (at least some proportion of) individuals also have life goals or “life themes” that are central to their life fulfillment. This chapter explores the philosophical origins of these ideas and considers the (usually survey-based) research that attempts to sort out these complex issues. Integrating ideas from labor economics and social philosophy, it explores patterns in the historical survey data for the US, and presents reflections on why and for whom work matters, how it might and ought to relate to life satisfaction, and how one might ideally measure these links. The chapter also discusses an expanded role for education, and closes by outlining specific questions for future research on this topic.

Keywords:   Dewey, education, workers, well-being, life themes, meaningfulness, job satisfaction, false consciousness, race

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