Why do people work hard, and take pride in what they do? This book, a philosophically-minded enquiry into practical activity of many different kinds past and present, is about what happens when people try to do a good job. It asks us to think about the true meaning of skill in the 'skills society' and argues that pure competition is a poor way to achieve quality work....more
Anyone with much knowledge of the sciences will be irritated by Sennett's tenuous grasp of basic scientific principles. Any engineer will be exasperated with his conflicting positions between the craft of creating and perfecting machinery, the design and use of tools as part of craft, and the romantic distaste for replacing handwork ...more
You can find a longer review on my blog (in portuguese): https://virtual-illusion.blogspot.pt/...
But being one of the rare books out there--and I can remember only Donald Schon's 'The Reflective Practitioner' as the last word out there outlining an epistemology of practice--Sennett's new book still warrants a few exciting words despite the caveat as stated. And like Schon's 'The ...more
Each chapter discusses a different aspect craftsmen and craftsmanship. Sennet draws on philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, science and history to ...more
Philosophy is not my thing, I thought this would be a little more concrete, but instead it was abstract, messy, and hard to picture. Some bits and examples were perfectly clear, and that was usually when he referred to actual historical figures and didn't wax poetic.
I found it bizarre when he referred to ...more
This book is an example of class as 'the elephant in the room'. 326 pages on craftmanship and no mention of class as such! As a good establishment ...more
In Part III he seems to slip into the conceit that the ...more
Richard Sennett is that prodigious researcher but an awful teacher. My two stars are for introducing me to some wonderful men and women from the past and their unique approach to craft. There were some chapters that were truly insightful and inspiring and made me not give up but the persistent digressions failed my momentum.
As another reviewer commented, I tried very hard to like this book but it does not reward that ...more
Like much of Sennett's work, it reads more or less easily, with a bit of a slowdown near the end of Section One. It is packed with interesting ideas, some I consider worthwhile, others I think are interesting but not supportable, or at least not as important as Sennett thinks. It is pretty clear that ...more
Sennett carefully examines the idea of 'craftsmanship', dissects the cultural practices behind the concept, and introduces his readers to the mindset behind all skillful action. This book will take you on a journey through a plethora of historical and practical examples that guide you to a ...more
The book is one part inquiry into the development of skills by craftsman, one part defense of the artisan in an age of mechanized production, and one part examination of the philosophical implications for our ...more
What can I say? I must be a little slow, since this book made almost no sense to me at all.
An often seemingly (to me at least) random collection of philosophy, more akin to showing off what the author has read, than any real contribution to the topic at hand.
I am a craftsman and virtually nothing in this book resonated with me. Maybe it was above my pay grade.
This is all great material and an enjoyable read. The cases used are good and get across the point, however, often I whished for them to be discussed more in-depth and not be as simplified as they appeared in the book.
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