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The Existential Pleasures of Engineering

Samuel C. Florman

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

224 Pages


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Humans have always sought to change their environment—building houses, monuments, temples, and roads. In the process, they have remade the fabric of the world into newly functional objects that are also works of art, feats to be not only used or experienced but admired and learned from. In this second edition of his popular Existential Pleasures of Engineering, Samuel Florman reports on how engineers think and feel about their profession.

An insightful and refreshingly unique text, this book corrects the myth that engineering is cold and passionless. Indeed, Florman celebrates engineering as every bit as vital, and every bit as alive, as it is crucial and fundamental; he views engineering as a response to some of our deepest impulses, an endeavor rich in spiritual and sensual rewards. Opposing the "anti-technology" stance, Florman gives readers a practical, creative, and even amusing philosophy of engineering that signals an ample degree of knowledge about—and pride in—his trade.


Praise for The Existential Pleasures of Engineering

"Gracefully written . . . Refreshing and highly infectious enthusiasm . . . imaginatively engineered."—The New York Times Book Review

"A useful read for engineers given to self-scrutiny, and a stimulating one for the layman interested in the ancient schism between machines and men's souls."—Time

"An urbane, witty, intellectually far-ranging, large-spirited hymn to homo faber."—The Wall Street Journal

"Enchanting."—The New Yorker

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Samuel C. Florman, a civil engineer, has also written The Civilized Engineer and Blaming Technology, in addition to The Introspective Engineer. He lives in New York State.
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  • Samuel C. Florman

  • Civil engineer Samuel C. Florman's other books include The Civilized Engineer, Blaming Technology, and The Introspective Engineer. He lives in New York City.
  • Samuel C. Florman Cetera