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Why Work? Marx and Human Nature

The annual Marx Memorial Library Lecture is held on a topic related to the life and works of Karl Marx.

Why work? Most people say that they work only as a means to earn a living. This instrumental view is also implied by the hedonist account of human nature which underlies utilitarianism and classic economics and which has been influential in recent ‘analytical’ Marxism. In this talk Professor Sean Sayers will argue that Marx’s concept of alienation involves a more satisfactory theory of human nature that is rooted in Hegel’s philosophy. According to this, we are productive beings and work is potentially a fulfilling activity. The fact that it is not experienced as such is at the basis of Marx’s critique of capitalist society.

Professor Sean Sayers is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kent. He has written extensively on topics of Hegelian and Marxist philosophy from a Hegelian Marxist perspective and has also written on Freud and psychoanalysis and is currently working on issues in aesthetics.


Professor Sean Sayers | talks


Date and Time:

15 March 2010 at 6:30 pm


1 hour



Marx Memorial Library
37a Clerkenwell Green

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£1 (50p Concessions)

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