The present volume revisits Descartes’ principle according to which our existence depends on some action (in Descartes’ case, on thinking). We wanted to stress the focal position occupied by work in the definition of the subjectivity of the contemporary individual. By questioning the supposed Cartesian rationalism of the title – i.e. the deep connection between labour and existence – this book aims at tracing new critical approaches to the complex relationship between existence, identity and social recognition, from a strongly transdisciplinary perspective, bridging legal and humanistic questions and codes. Is it true that we work and therefore we are? What are the different roles played by work, social recognition and income today? What kind of risks does the “ideology of work” entail with respect to new forms of consumering and production?