Normative Labour in the Age of Automation

Daniel Frank Christensen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This thesis examines a question of normative labour in the prospect of structural unemployment caused by advanced task automation. The normative concept of labour is explored through a theological materialist framework based on Walter Benjamin’s essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936). This is developed through a two-fold investigation, which entails interpreting normative articulations and material descriptions of labour in primary historical philosophical and theological sources spanning from Aristotle to Hannah Arendt. The issue of automation is approached primarily through a descriptive analysis of the findings of Frey/Osborne (2013) and Brynjolfsson/McAfee (2011, 2014) regarding computerisation/robotics and related implications for labour markets of the Global North. The historically derived normative concept of labour is then discussed in the context of an automated future scenario. This discussion is then framed in a dialectical structure, which unfolds to propose a re-politicisation of public life.

UddannelserFilosofi og Videnskabsteori, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 jun. 2016
VejledereErik Bendtsen


  • Automation
  • Computerisation
  • Normative Labour
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Theological Materialism
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Labour
  • Structural Unemployment
  • Karl Marx
  • Aristotle