Two well-written and reasoned pieces responding to Marco Rubio’s assertion that we need more welders and “less” philosophers:
— one by Scott Timberg in Salon
Both question assertions about pay as well as the false opposition between liberal arts and vocational educations. My favorite bit: a reference to Matthew B. Crawford’s short, smart book, Shopcraft as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. Crawford (who earned a Ph.D. in phiosophy) argues for the importance of skilled, thoughtful manual workers.
I was reminded, yesterday, also, of my favorite plumber, who is one of the best problem solvers I’ve ever known. The guy can fix almost anything. But that’s not why he’s so talented. He thinks elegantly, assesses entire systems, and generates solutions that are so ingenious they sometimes make me laugh.
Rubio and others out to ding the humanities would impress me a whole lot more were they, themselves, able to express with eloquence and inspire. But for that, they’d probably need — dare I write this — a first-class liberal arts education.