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Meaningful Work$
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Andrea Veltman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190618179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190618179.001.0001

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Work as a Human Good

Work as a Human Good

(p.35) 2 Work as a Human Good
Meaningful Work

Andrea Veltman

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of theories of human flourishing and other philosophical conceptions of the good life for human beings. The author draws on Aristotle for a conception of happiness as encompassing the development of human capabilities and the possession of a plurality of goods. The chapter also highlights several ways in which work can enhance or detract from a flourishing life, providing a cumulative case argument for the thesis that meaningful work is central in human flourishing. The author also highlights a paradox in the general neglect of work on the part of philosophers who develop theories of the human good. The final section of the chapter addresses a common maneuver of turning immediately or only to Karl Marx for an ideal of meaningful work, arguing that such a maneuver neglects a broader heritage of philosophical and religious insights on work.

Keywords:   human flourishing, the good life, happiness, Aristotle, human capabilities, meaningful work, work, Karl Marx

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