In his new book, Alain De Botton, a philosopher of modern society, looks at the world of modern work and how important it is to our central identity. He takes a look at a wide array of jobs from rocket science to biscuit manufacture, accountancy to art in a search to find what make jobs either fulfilling or soul-destroying. In a recent interview with Monocle Magazine, De Botton said that we have some sort of neo-Marxist view of work – that labor is corruption – but that’s not the whole story. His analysis reveals that people have an attraction to attention and detail, the opposite of which is chaos and decline. When we see people at work, we see something admirable and noble about them.

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