Dr. Catherine Deavel to speak at Feminist Friday event tomorrow

Dr. Catherine Deavel to speak at Feminist Friday event tomorrow

Dr. Catherine Deavel, Philosophy Department, will speak on “Work, Action and Vocation in the Thought of Hannah Arendt and Edith Stein” at the next Feminist Friday event.

This brown bag talk will be presented from 12:15 to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in the Luann Dummer Center for Women, Room 103, O’Shaughnessy Educational Center. Dessert and beverages will be provided.
About Deavel’s talk

What is meaningful human activity? In considering this question, Hannah Arendt distinguishes among labor, work and action.

Labor is the set of activities, generally physical and repetitive, by which humans sustain their biological lives. In contrast, work changes the world around us and aims at the production of a new and relatively lasting object, which is the proper end of the activity. Humans produce the world of artifice and culture through work.

Finally, action is the expression of human freedom, our ability to make new beginnings and to distinguish ourselves from others. In answer to the same question, Edith Stein turns to the idea of vocation. She argues that we can consider the vocation of women, despite differences among individuals and commonality among humans. She claims that women (and men) tend to develop certain skills as well as certain virtues (and vices) more easily.

In comparing these two positions, Deavel will focus on the following question: Is it possible, as Stein’s claims seem to imply, that human beings can give meaning to their activities, even to repetitive activity aimed primarily at the necessities of biological life, if this activity is approached as vocational?

Feminist Friday events, co-sponsored by the LDCW and the UST Women’s Studies program, are free and open to the public.

Call (651) 962-6119 for information.