Good Work

Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (1):61-73 (2015)
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Abstract

Work is on one side a central arena of self-making, self-understanding, and self-development, and on the other a deep threat to our flourishing. My question is: what kind of work is good for human beings, and what kind bad? I first characterise work as necessary productive activity. My answer to my question then develops a perfectionist account of the human good: the good is the full development and expression of human potentials and capacities; this development and expression happens over a lifetime through appropriate practice. Work is thus a problem of human development, and I address that problem by considering three central human capacities: that we are passionate choosers, skilled makers, and social negotiators. For each, I ask: what does this capacity need from our work if it is to develop towards full and flourishing expression? Answering that question leads to a three-part account of good work as requiring: a distinctive kind of pleasure, involving both unselfconscious flow and supervisory self-attention; skill, which I describe via the ideal of craft; and democracy, which I define as a form of life in which each is able to develop and use both expressive and receptive capacities

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Sam Clark
Lancaster University

Citations of this work

Collegial Relationships.Monika Https://Orcidorg Betzler & Jörg Https://Orcidorg Löschke - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):213-229.
Philosophical Approaches to Work and Labor.Michael Cholbi - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Narrative, Self-Realization, and the Shape of a Life.Samuel Clark - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):371-385.

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