A1 Journal article (refereed)
Labor as Action : the Human Condition in the Anthropocene (2020)

Hyvönen, A.-E. (2020). Labor as Action : the Human Condition in the Anthropocene. Research in Phenomenology, 50(2), 240-260. https://doi.org/10.1163/15691640-12341449

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Hyvönen, Ari-Elmeri

Journal or series: Research in Phenomenology

ISSN: 0085-5553

eISSN: 1569-1640

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 50

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 240-260

Publisher: Brill

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/15691640-12341449

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/71972


The Anthropocene has become an umbrella term for the disastrous transgression of ecological safety boundaries by human societies. The impact of this new reality is yet to be fully registered by political theorists. In an attempt to recalibrate the categories of political thought, this article brings Hannah Arendt’s framework of The Human Condition (labor, work, action) into the gravitational pull of the Anthropocene and current knowledge about the Earth System. It elaborates the historical emergence of our capacity to “act in the mode of laboring” during fossil-fueled capitalist modernity, a form of agency relating to our collectively organized laboring processes reminiscent of the capacity of modern sciences to “act into nature” discussed by Arendt. I argue that once read from an energy/ecology-centric perspective, The Human Condition can help us make sense of the Anthropocene predicament, and rethink the modes of collectively organizing the activities of labor, work, and action.

Keywords: social philosophy; Anthropocene; ecological status; climate changes; humankind; work; labour (workforce); human agency

Free keywords: Arendt, Hannah; earth; anthropocene; climate change; labor; agency

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 21:37