As a reader of the
page of Intégrer Sciences Po (thanks to him), the France Culture program
Culture, Les nouveaux chemins de la connaissance, devotes a week to the
the baccalaureate exam in philosophy. One of the topics discussed is the question of work,
theme of the IEP 2014.
The question asked is: should we like work?
Here is a transcription for you, the readers of Intégrer Sciences Po, of the
the program, which is not exhaustive, and which can easily be completed by
completed bylistening to the
– You should forget the answer that comes spontaneously, because it is not the
this is not the right way to establish a philosophy plan.
– Documentary: “I’m in great pain at work” Testimony: Work,
in the etymological sense, is torture. So can we love work?
work? But work allows us to feed our family, to take care of our children, it is vital
children, it is vital. Work gives meaning to life, establishes a link with others
with others which is fundamental. Not having a job, having a poorly paid job
work is a voluntary servitude, we go to work every day
every day to work.
– The ambivalence of work: at the same time a source of happiness and a source
of unhappiness. Ambivalent character of work. What is work? The
work in itself be lovable or why should the love of work be the object of
the love of work be the object of an obligation?
– We are interested here in the first word of the subject, because we must question all the words of the subject
the words of the subject. Philosophy is a normal school subject: there is no mystery
there is no mystery, there is a program. In the essay, should you
in the essay, should one love one’s work, one must define the work.
– One will find the problematic if in front of a question, one asks oneself a second question
second question: why am I being asked this question? Can love
be the object of an obligation?
Modern Times – Charlie Chaplin
– 1st part : work is considered as a
– Hannah Arendt, Condition of Modern Man
“To say that work and crafts were despised in antiquity
because they were reserved for slaves, is a prejudice of modern
modern historians. The Ancients made the opposite reasoning: they judged that it was
that it was necessary to have slaves because of the servile nature
of all the occupations that provided for the needs of life. It is
even by these reasons that they defended and justified the institution of
slavery. To work was to be enslaved by necessity, and this enslavement was
was inherent in the conditions of human life. The
men being subjected to the necessities of life could only free themselves
by dominating those whom they force to submit to necessity. The
degradation of the slave was a blow of the fate, a fate worse than the death, because
death, because it provoked a metamorphosis which changed the man into a being
being close to the domestic animals. This is why if the status of the slave changed
status of the slave changed, for example by manumission, or if a change in
political conditions raised certain occupations to the rank of public
occupations to the rank of public affairs, the “nature” of the slave automatically
– The farmer produces what he will consume. The ancients did not have a word equivalent to ours
equivalent word to ours: work was the activity to which we are absolutely
to which we are absolutely compelled to live. So the
consumption, essential to live, is work. Rest is work.
The journey to work is also work. The ancients
called work essentially a forced activity. Not to
work for a Greek, it is not to do nothing for as much. It means having
time to perform unconstrained activities, free activities.
– We are all forced to work, to get a salary,
to live. Therefore, by integrating the ancient conception, work is in itself not
in itself unlovable. One can love a free activity.
– 2nd part: modern conception of work.
Locke, Ricardo, Smith. For the moderns, work is productive, it
is a source of value. Work makes it possible to enrich. The forced nature of
character of work does not exhaust the conception of work: it is necessary to
reflection is needed. For example Hegel shows that work is
a properly human activity, work is the realization of humanity, of the
of humanity, of the freedom of humanity. For through work, man
transforms nature. Through the work that man produces, man
recognizes himself. It is the sense of the distinction of Hannah Arendt between work
– To work is to participate in the collective effort of humanity. For
moderns, it is a human activity, but also an activity that
humanizes. The worker can acquire a certain number of virtues. The
laborious and sterile that it can be with its result,
nevertheless allows to form oneself. A new conception, which makes of work
all human activities.
– Karl Marx, The Manuscripts of 1844
“Now, in what does the dispossession of labor consist? First of all, in the
that labor is external to the worker, that is to say that it does not belong to
does not belong to his being; that, in his work, the worker does not
asserts himself, but denies himself; that he does not feel satisfied, but
unhappy; that he does not deploy a free physical and intellectual energy, but
intellectual energy, but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. This is why
why the worker has the feeling of being his own only outside of work
work; in work, he feels outside himself. He is himself
when he is not working and, when he is working, he is not himself. His
work is not voluntary, but forced. Forced work, it is not
not the satisfaction of a need, but only a means to satisfy needs
needs outside of work. The alienated nature of work appears
clearly in the fact that, as soon as there is no physical or other constraint
physical or other constraint, one flees from work like the plague.“
– part 3: Marx says that work is a social activity
social activity. The division of labor must be taken into account. We must no longer speak of
to speak of labor with a capital T, but we must know what specific labor we are talking about
we are talking about. We have to take into account the historical and concrete division of labour
and concrete division of labor. Marx with Hengel discovered the concept of
alienated, with a double alienation. Alienated labor is not lovable.
For the worker does not recognize himself in the specific task he performs
modern Times, Charlie Chaplin.
– What is love? Descartes says that love is the greatest of
goods of men. It is not a source of any joy, it is the greatest source of
the greatest source of joy in life. So work would be an activity
activity that would be in harmony with our sensibilities, our faculties,
source of social recognition.
– Conclusion: it doesn’t make sense to say that we can love work
if we have not defined the work. We must have the possibility, the freedom
to choose a lovable job.
→ Review with the best-of articles on the notion of work
One thought on “Do you have to like work?”
It’s no longer work when we do what we like. In the 80s we saw machines replacing the laborious work of man. Today man is fighting against machines when these could replace 90% of current human work. Life is work here is the current reality.. But the work did not invent the life it is the life which invented it.. the creation is the future of the man, the evolution.
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