Matthew B. Crawford

Esteemed Philosopher | Bestselling Author of Shop Class as Soulcraft

For those of us who sit in an office, it’s often difficult to say exactly what we do all day. Matthew B. Crawford, the bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft, seeks to restore the honour of the manual trades as a life worth choosing. Based on his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford makes a case for the satisfactions and challenges of manual work, which ties us to the local communities in which we live, and instills the pride that comes from doing a craft that is genuinely useful.

As a speaker, Crawford draws from the history of philosophy to consider how our labour choices form us. In doing so, he turns an inquiring gaze on the modern workplace, the psychology of consumerism, and the consequences of our technological enthusiasm. Often darkly funny, Crawford mixes stories of contemporary life with careful arguments to illuminate our ongoing struggle to live a fully human life, and to figure out what such a life might consist of.

His newest book is The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction wherein he investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind.

Crawford majored in physics as an undergraduate, and then turned to political philosophy, earning a PhD from the University of Chicago. Currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he is also a contributing editor of The New Atlantis, and has written for The New York Times. Crawford also runs a motorcycle repair business in Richmond, Virginia.