Why Do We Work?

Hi, I’m Rebecca Chan, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at San José State University! I love thinking about different philosophical issues, and today I want to invite y’all to think through one that I’ve been thinking about since I was a child: why do we work? 


To help you on this journey, I’ve prepared a series of activities, short lecture videos, and a curated reading list. In the end, I don’t promise that we’ll arrive at a definitive answer to our question. That’s largely up to you! However, I do promise that you’ll have the resources to achieve the following objectives of this module--and think more deeply about the question of why we work.

Learning Objectives

  1. Reflect upon why we work.
  2. Understand the philosophical framework from which one asks the question of why we work. 
  3. Assess three different answers to the question. 
  4. Do nothing.
  5. Critically re-evaluate the question of why we work and analyze whether our actual practices align with that answer.