Books

The Unity of Hand and Brain

The Craftsman, by Richard Sennett;  Penguin, 2009, 300 pages, $26.95. If there is one guiding thought behind Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman, a long digressive series of reflections on his life’s work as a social critic, it is the maxim, “making is thinking”. This brings him directly into conflict with his old teacher, the philosopher Hannah Arendt, who erected a division between the world of animal needs—unreflecting work for beasts of burden—and the higher world of homo faber, of those who reflect on art and work, and even draw moral conclusions from it. That division started with Plato, who belittled cooking…

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