[OPE-L:2664] Re: (Q) work and labor

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 09:15:26 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

On Wed, 17 Jul 1996, Iwao Kitamura wrote:

> Paul, do you mean there's no distinction in English such
> as Engels insisted ? Do you see no difference in nuances
> in using "work" and "labor"?

The nuance that I see is this: The term 'work' is relatively
neutral and general, while the word 'labor' usually implies
heavy work -- manual work primarily, but by extension certain
kinds of mental effort. (Somebody who is laboring at an
academic paper is having a harder time than somebody who is
merely working on one). That's in common English. Of course
'labor' in the technical Marxian sense need not imply manual
work (and 'work' in the technical sense of physics is something
different again).

Allin Cottrell.