HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 14 no. 2 (2013)

Meaning and Value of Work: a Marxist Perspective

Ferdinand Tablan

Discipline: Philosophy, Social Science



The thesis that there is a reciprocal relationship between human beings and work—i.e., although man controls work, he may find in it either fulfillment or degradation—has its roots in the Marxist theory of alienation. This paper, therefore, tackles this problem from a Marxist perspective. It examines Marx and Engels’s analysis of the history and causes of human alienation by presenting their views on human nature and how work is related to the individual’s search for meaning and fulfillment. The two—man and work—cannot be separated, for doing so leads to alienated work (production alienation) and alienated worker (self-alienation). Hence, the problem of employee satisfaction has to be dealt with from the perspective of how employees experience their relation to their work.