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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

Chapter:
(p.35) 2 Work as a Human Good
Source:
Meaningful Work
Author(s):

Andrea Veltman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190618179.003.0002

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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