Work and Leisure: What Are They For?

An Online Resource

PHIL 2287: What is the Meaning of Work and Leisure?

Boston College, Summer Session II, 2017

Jon Burmeister

See Course Description and Reading List

Authors include: Seneca, Aristotle, Martin Luther, Max Weber, J.M. Keynes, Karl Marx, and Hannah Arendt

How to Register.   Questions about the course?

Jobs Safe from Automation?, video with Andrew McAfee (MIT Sloan School)

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The development of this course was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Feb. 2017 “Work and Automation” Conference


Video of Presentation by Juliet Floyd, BU Philosophy Dept.:

Automation and Conversation: Wittgenstein and Turing on ‘Cultural Searches’ and ‘Common Sense’

Conference Schedule Below   **   No Registration Required
Boston College – Monday Feb. 27, 2017
Stokes Hall S195 – Campus Map and Parking
Contact: Jon K. Burmeister

The relationship between our technologies and our work has always been intimate, whether the plow to the ancient farmer or the MRI machine to the neurologist.  Yet we now live in an age in which our technologies are advancing so rapidly that their effects on our future working lives are increasingly difficult to predict. 

While some argue that we are nearing a future in which automated labor will lead to wide-scale unemployment, others claim that the past trend of technology creating more jobs than it destroys will continue.  Either way, in light of the advent of self-driving cars and software that can diagnose diseases, it is prudent for us to consider what technological automation might be able to do for us, what it can never do for us, and how its future might impact our daily working lives. 

This conference will address these themes through the lenses of philosophy, economics, sociology, and computer science, with talks aimed at a non-specialist audience.  It will conclude with the three speakers and an additional participant putting their respective disciplinary insights into dialogue.

More Info on Participants: 

Dr. Robert Margo, Economics        Dr. Juliet Schor, Sociology

Dr. Juliet Floyd, Philosophy            Dr William Griffith, Computer Science