Hearing Room 2: 2:00—3:15pm

How does the work you do (and the tools you use) shape the person you become? Is it possible that some types of work cultivate ethical virtue and individual freedom, while others result in moral diminishment and wage enslavement? And why do so many of us eschew working with our hands and the mastery of real things for a life in the cubicle and a dependence on consumer goods? This panel is an inquiry into the value of work and its relationship to living a meaningful, useful, and good life.

MATTHEW B. CRAWFORD is the award-winning author of The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction and Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work. He majored in physics at UC Santa Barbara and later earned a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Chicago, specializing in ancient political thought. Currently he is a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and fabricates parts for custom motorcycles in Richmond, Virginia.

STEVEN LEVINE is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His scholarly work has appeared in the European Journal of Philosophy, the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, and Philosophical Topics. He also writes for non-academic forums on such topics as US foreign policy, Occidentalism, nationalism, and the moral permissibility of drones. He is currently writing a book entitled Pragmatism, Objectivity, and Experience.

B SCOT ROUSSE (moderator) is a writer and philosopher working in the tradition of existential phenomenology and currently engrossed with the fate of education in a technological age. He holds a PhD in philosophy from Northwestern University and plays drums in several hardcore-punk bands in the Bay Area.