In this special event, leading American political philosopher Elizabeth Anderson (Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan) will deliver a lecture entitled “The Work Ethic: Ideology for Bullshit Jobs or Meaningful Work?” in which she will reconsider the history of the work ethic in light of critiques lately made by David Graeber, following a tradition found in Max Weber and John Maynard Keynes.
Looking back to its origins in 17th century Puritanism, she will argue that the critiques of the work ethic overlook a progressive work ethic tradition that exalted workers, promoted meaningful work, and condemned the exploitative and destructive business models that characterize the current era of crony capitalism.
Following her lecture, Anderson will then discuss some of the key topics she raises with bestselling author and anthropologist David Graeber.
About the speakers:
Elizabeth Anderson specializes in ethics, social and political philosophy, feminist theory, social epistemology, and the philosophy of economics and the social sciences. She is the author of The Imperative of Integration, and, most recently, Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (And Why We Don’t Talk About It). She is currently working on a history of egalitarianism. A recent profile of her in the New Yorker can be found here.
David Graeber is an anthropologist, anarchist activist and author known for his 2011 book Debt: The First 5000 Years and the 2018 bestseller Bullshit Jobs: A Theory. He is a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE). A recent interview with Graeber in Jacobin can be found here.
This event is a collaboration between the London Philosophy Club, Bigg Books, and the Philosophical Society of England (PSE). It is being sponsored by The Philosopher, the UK’s longest-running public philosophy journal.
For further information, please go to the website of The Philosopher.
This event is in the Brockway Room on the ground floor (accessible, Induction loop audio). For accessibility info: conwayhall.org.uk/about/visiting-us