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Published on May 8, 2017
Is man the only living being who works? According to the second principle of thermodynamics, a system open to its environment tends intrinsically towards disorder. His entropy is increasing. Under information theory, this means that he loses his information irreversibly. However, work, on the physical and physiological level, can be conceived as the reduction of its informative disorder or as the reproduction of its informative order; that is, as the fight against its entropy. This understanding of the concept of work, which operates in the sciences, gives this concept such an extension that it no longer appears to be specific to man. End of work as specific to man: any living system, fighting against death and organizing its environment, is a being at work.
Reading advice: Michel Serres, Le Parasite, Éditions Grasset, 1980.