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Work and the human claim to uniqueness: A contribution to the philosophy of work

Work and the human claim to uniqueness: A contribution to the philosophy of work

Stephen Overell
24 December 2008

A number of different philosophical traditions have seen in work one of the distinctive traits of humankind. Yet what exactly is it that separates the work of human beings from the ‘work-like behaviour’ of many animals such as birds building nests or bees building hives? The essay sets out to investigate the key arguments that have been offered for working being ‘species specific’ to human beings, such as the use of reason versus the instinct of animals, and the ability to make and use tools.

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