Owen Kelly reads excerpts from Tools for Conviviality to make sense of the arguments that Illich proposes.
Born in Vienna in 1926, Ivan Illich acted as a Roman Catholic priest, a theologian, a philosopher, and a radical social critic. He died in December 2002.
His 1971 book Deschooling Society criticises modern society’s institutional approach to education, an approach that constrains learning to narrow situations in a fairly short period of the human lifespan. His 1975 book Medical Nemesis argues that industrialised society widely impairs quality of life by overmedicalising life, pathologizing normal conditions, creating false dependency, and limiting other more healthful solutions.
Illich called himself “a Wandering Jew and a Christian pilgrim” and we can find the core beliefs that held his intellectual wanderings together discussed in a more general form in his 1973 book Tools for Conviviality.
In this episode Owen Kelly reads excerpts from Tools for Conviviality, a book he has returned to again and again, to make sense of the arguments that Illich proposes – while wondering how we can get there from here, a question that Illich himself dismisses.