Daily Archives: November 20, 2009

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford

The author of Shop Class as Soulcraft makes some points that I completely agree with: that pushing all teenagers to college is counter-productive, that what we pompously call knowledge work is often plain silly, that the feeling we have after fixing a tangible object such as a motorbike is uncomparably fullfilling.

The author owns a motorcycle shop and also happens to have a Ph.D. in philosophy so unfortunately he lapses into unpenetrable sentences such as “The market ideal of Choice by an autonomous Self seems to act as a kind of narcotic that makes the displacing of embodied agency go smoothly, or precludes the development of such agency by providing easier satisfactions.” Huh?

Fortunately, the bits about his shop, his growing up in the East Bay of the San Francisco area, and his troubleshooting experiences are funny and sweet. Too bad I cannot recommend the entire package to a teenager who’s looking for a hands-on career.

Leave a comment

Filed under Non fiction