The World Beyond your Head

The World Beyond your Head

On Becoming An Individual in An Age of Distraction

Book - 2015
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The key to personal choice, and even happiness, is to gain control of our attention--our mental lives.

Matthew Crawford is the author of Shop Class as Soulcraft , which challenged our notions about what we do and how it affects our sense of self (and our happiness). This new book addresses the crisis of attention: where we focus -- or cannot focus--equally affects our sense of self. As our mental lives become more fragmented, what is at stake often seems to be nothing less than the question of whether one can maintain a coherent self . The key to a better life then is to get command not just of one's physical environment, but of one's mental life, too.

Like Shop Class as Soulcraft , Crawford uses case studies as well as entertaining musings from his own personal observations to describe the fundamental shift surrounding attention that is happening in our culture. From making a surfboard, to parenting, to anxiously navigating the inside of an airport--all provide clues to a phenomenon that we increasingly experience, but could not put into words, until now. An accessible and food for thought kind of look at what our difficulties with attention mean for us as free thinking people.

Publisher: Toronto :, Allen Lane,, 2015
ISBN: 9780670066391
Branch Call Number: ANF 155.2 CRA
Characteristics: x, 305 pages ; 24 cm


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Sep 20, 2015

Although this book provides a kind of world view, it does not offer me anything other than an insight into how other people engage their world. Perhaps this is one of the goals Crawford has for the reader, but because I have a Christian world view grounded in a belief that the Bible holds truth and history, I already have answers for myself to most things Crawford addresses. Who I am and how I interact with the world are both answered by the Bible. My sociological understanding of the world is very different because of this.
However this book is interesting to read and easy to understand if you focus on it. I found there were some sections that didn't quite fit in and did not seem necessary (ex. Glass making section did not offer much for how In depth it went).

LPL_DirectorBrad May 06, 2015

Kant vs. Hegel. Hegel wins.


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Jun 12, 2016

P. 76 Whether you regard it as infantile or as the highest achievement of the European mind, what we find in Kant are the philosophical roots of our modern identification of freedom with choice, where choice is understood as a pure flashing forth of the unconditional will. This is important for understanding our culture because thus understood, choice serves as the central totem of consumer capitalism, and those who present choices to us appear as handmaidens to our own freedom.

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