Sunday, January 7, 2024

Highly recommended........................


     A carpenter faces the accusation of his level, and electrician must answer the question of whether the lights are in fact on, a speed shop engine builder sees his results in a quarter-mile time slip.  Such standards have a universal validity that is apparent to all, yet in the discriminations made by practitioners of an art respond also to aesthetic subtleties that may not be visible to the bystander.  Only a fellow journeyman is entitled to say 'nicely done.' . . . It is in doing the job nicely that the tradesman puts his own stamp on it.  His individuality is not only compatible with, it is realized through his efforts to reach a goal that is common.

     His individuality is thus expressed as an activity that, in answering to a shared world, connects him to others: the customers he serves and other practitioners of his art, who are competent to recognize the peculiar excellence of his work.   Such a sociable individuality contrasts with the self-enclosure that tis implicit in the idea of "autonomy," which means giving a law to oneself.  The idea of autonomy denies that we are born into a world that existed prior to us.  It posits an essential aloneness; an autonomous being is free in the sense that a being severed from all others is free.  To regard oneself in this way is to betray the natural debts we owe to the world, and commit the moral error of ingratitude.  For in fact we are basically dependent beings: one upon another, and each on a world that is not of our making.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, Steve. I would suggest his book, The World Beyond Your Head, as well.