Francis X. Rocca, Wall Street Journal
Employment as both a philosopher and as a mechanic may not seem like the most logical combination, but for Matthew Crawford, it is quite natural. In addition to working at the University of Virginia and running a motorcycle repair business, he is the New York Times-bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (2009).
In Shop Class as Soulcraft, Crawford discusses the alienation felt by individuals working in cubicles, sitting in front of a computer and provides a solution: a return to an aesthetic that values manual labor and the trades. The joy of working with your hands provides a sense of self-reliance and authenticity that many feel that they lack.
Crawford's writings have been reviewed in Slate, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has been called a locavore of work and an advocate of a different and undervalued form of intelligence. They have also been praised as a solution to America's (wsj thing).
In his talk, Crawford will discuss, through the history of philosophy, how we are formed (and deformed) by our economic choices. He will illuminate the role of the psychology of consumerism and the modern workplace and turn an eye towards some of the less-known consequences of our culture's obsession with technology.
Matthew Crawfords visit to campus is jointly sponsored by the Athenaeum and the CMC Dean of the Faculty.