For some, the distinction between craftsmanship and deep thinking represents a false dichotomy (as a logician might say).
Matthew B. Crawford earned his Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago but failed to find a job as an academic and ultimately landed a position at a think tank. Unhappy with the work, he quit and became a mechanic in Virginia, using online tutorials to learn how to weld and make motorcycle parts.
He has also continued to write and has published books about his career transition. One of his books, “Shop Class as Soulcraft,” is devoted to debunking the notion that manual trades are mindless. “The division between knowledge work and manual work is kind of dubious, because there is so much thinking that goes on in skilled trades,” Mr. Crawford said.
As for the payoff, Mr. Crawford rejects the idea that philosophers cannot figure out how to earn a living.
“It’s obviously kind of a reductive approach to think of your course of study in college as merely a means to a paycheck,” Mr. Crawford said, suggesting the study of things like happiness can be enriching in ways that are hard to measure. “And nobody goes into philosophy because they think it’s going to make them rich.”
Why Not Both?
By Grim on Thursday, November 12, 2015