Homo luden: Oakeshott's champion- "Work and Play" by Michael Oakeshott.

Essay by thegreatakbarUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2005

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The article "Work and Play", by Michael Oakeshott, describes the many characteristics of the human being. His main point is that the Homo ludens, is the civilized one compared to Homo sapiens. Oakeshott goes on to support his opinion by describing how the Homo sapiens are creatures of wants that have corrupted the idea of "play". I'm going to examine Michael Oakeshott's view and compare and contrast it with the view from philosophers Aristotle and John Locke. I do not agree with Michael Oakeshott's view because the human being characteristics cannot be simplified into two major categories, laborers and ludens.

Michael Oakeshott says that humans are part of the Economy of Nature. He says "human beings have some characteristics that, at least partly, distinguishes them from the other components of this world." He calls these characteristics sapiens meaning "intelligence", laborans "worker" and ludens "player". Oakeshott refers to Homo sapiens as "human beings, then, are distinguished as creatures of wants."

because of the intelligence, they are creatures that have needs to be satisfied and wants to be imagined. Oakeshott says that human beings have gathered all the "useful knowledge" to take earth's resources to satisfying our desires. It is "the great business and occupation of life", as Oakeshott quotes from an eighteenth-century writer, which makes Homo sapiens to Homo laborans a "worker". He states, "Over time there have been two beliefs that human beings have lived by. The first one is that "work" is not only typical for mankind but was our proper attitude and occupation." Oakeshott includes in his article a biblical argument connecting Original sin with divine curse to the Homo laborans. The second belief is the optimism about success in the world. Michael Oakeshott's statement is important because he believes that it only...