Professor Nicholas Smith

The Ends of Work

Grand Challenges series

Nicholas Smith 180x135 One of the great challenges of our times is the current transformation of work and how we should orient ourselves ethically in relation to this transformation. It is popularly argued that as more and more jobs become automated, there will be less and less work to go around, decreasing occupational stability, but no shortage of wealth. In these circumstances, the fundamental moral challenge is to ensure that those who remain in work do not enjoy a disproportionately large share of this wealth, that the growing numbers of unemployed people get their fair share, and that no one is stigmatised for not wanting to work at all. Put simply, to ensure that the benefits - and in particular the freedoms - of the end of work are equally available to everyone. However, the question remains; does this get to the ethical heart of the challenge the transformation of work poses for us? In this lecture I suggest that it does not.

Professor Nicholas H. Smith is Professor of Philosophy at Macquarie University and an Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences Fellow 2017-8. He has published widely in critical social theory and philosophy of work. His latest book, The Return of Work in Critical Theory: Self, Society, Politics, co-authored with Christophe Dejours, Jean-Philippe Deranty and Emmanuel Renault, is published by Columbia University Press (2018).

Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm onwards.

This lecture is free and all are welcome to attend.

Event date
Event Time
Keele Hall, Salvin Room
Steve Kilner / Jo Flynn
Contact email
Contact telephone
+44 (0)1782 7 34449 / 34434

Register now