Keywords: Labor, Achievement, Enlightenment, Moral Sentiments, Motivation.
The article wishes to shed light on contemporary transformations in labor tied to
globalization, by examining how David Hume and Adam Smith accounted for
the changes in the conditions in labor at their time in connection with the advancement
of manufacturing. Hume shows that the motivational basis of labor lies in
the human tendency to one's «achievement»; Smith accounts for the importance
of the division of labor, not in terms of the productive results but mentioning the
human «desire to persuade». Both argue for the necessity of a moral perspective
on the concept of labor as an important feature of the character of human beings.
A consequence of their analyses is that a merely economic approach to it is deeply