the craftsman

## richard sennett ### yale university press, 20218


making is thinking


starting from arendt’s concern about technological frenzy, and her belief in letting the public have a discussion around technological development (cf. the human condition). the response to that starts with the difference between animal laborens and homo faber. the first takes work as the end in itself (thinking and feeling are constrained within the process of making), the second asks why this works happens.

fine cloth or well-cooked food enables us to image larger categories of “good”: animal laborens serves as homo faber’s guide. craftmanship is the desire to do a job well for its own sake - skill, commitment, judgment.

two claims: 1 skill develops first through the body, 2 technological understanding develops through the powers of imagination. these two claims combine in exploring how resistance and ambiguity can lead to instruction. in this sense, motivation matters more than talent, because that motivation/obsession is what will have the biggest effect on the work.

the troubled craftsman

if the place of the craftsman was essential in archaic greece, as we can tell by the myth of Hephaestus, its status changed in classical greece. aristotle saw them as inferior because they didn’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing, while plato continued to confer upon them the ability to make, poiein (he also worried that the diversity of names for craftspeople would hide their deep common aspect)

linux is a public craft (quoting the cathedral and the bazaar), and while being a resurgence of demioergoi (public-producer), it still struggles on how to reconcile quality of knowledge with openness of access.

all craftsmanship has an impersonality in their character, which at the same time turns people outward, makes them more vocal.

there are two imperatives in the modern world to do good work: - moral imperative to do work for the community - competition imperative of performing better than others