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Marx: From the sensitive activity to the paid labour

Grant number: 21/00296-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Luiz Damon Santos Moutinho
Grantee:Bruno Fernandes
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In Economic and philosophic Manuscripts (1844), Marx examines three aspects of the estranged labour, the estrangement (Entfremdung) of human activity. The first one is objectification (Vergegenständlichung), the hostile relationship between the worker and his work products. The second one is the self-estrangement (Selbstentfremdung), the workers' relationship to their activity, which is seen by them as strange. Lastly, as a consequence, the estrangement of the individuals from their species-being (Gattungswesen), from the relationship to their fellow beings. Hence, it shows that when the worker is subjugated by the power of the objects he created himself, when their activity is propelled to them as miserable and powerless, belonged to another, they lose the social sense of their action and it corrupts their quality of their species-being, because the reason of their vital activity is inverted, becoming just mere means of their particular existence. In this regard, the estrangement is sustained as opposed to a generic life outside of history or on the margins of existence. However, what would happen if this activity was put inside of a social history of production? The conception of labour would completely change. It's what is found in Marx's major work. In The capital (1867), the labour is seen as the use of the workforce, which is defined as an ensemble of the physical and mental capacities existent on corporeality (Leiblinchkeit) of an individual which is set in motion by themselves. This content, the labour force, produces values of use at all times, however it takes a specific social form in each one of them. In the case of a capitalist society, it takes a paid labour form. Considering the difference between these two work conceptions, I propose to investigate why and how this transformation happened according to Marx's Thoughts.

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