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Work in Utopia

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic Lecture/ Debate/Seminar


Ideals aren’t enough: we need realistic assessments of possibilities and immediate tactics too. But ideals are necessary, because without them we can’t evaluate possibilities or form goals for our tactics. This one-day workshop at Lancaster University will consider ideals for work (what we do to make a living): what work would or will or should be in utopia. Should there be any work, or is it a curse from which we should free ourselves? How should work be distributed? How should appealing, autonomous, high-status work, or menial, grim, low-status work, be distributed? How should our working lives be organised - in hierarchies, democracies, by individual contract? What is the ideal of craftsmanship worth? What is the right relationship between work and education? between work and self-development? between work and play? between work at home and work outside it? Speakers will consider representations of utopian work, real-world prefiguring of utopian work, normative argument about the goods and evils of work, and the uses of utopianism for thinking about these issues. Speakers: Professor Stephen Bevan (The Work Foundation), Dr Sam Clark (Lancaster), Professor Ruth Kinna (Loughborough), Professor Andrew Sayer (Lancaster).

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External organisation (Funding body)

NameRoyal Institute of Philosophy