Labor, Philosophy, and Change

Image of Labor, Philosophy, and Change Working Group

The Labor, Philosophy, and Change working group will read two seminal texts of political philosophy: Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra (4th BCE)—an ancient Indian Sanskrit text on polity, economy, and ethics—and Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince (1532). Through a reading of texts, members explore what it means to be a modern subject who must toil and work for an impersonal state, economy, and polity. More importantly, what forms of political agency does the modern subject have under severe constraints of the polity and economy—which often border on totalitarian forms of control and political behavior?

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