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The Value of Education September 30, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, Education, Philosophy.
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Martha Nussbaum’s recent back to school message makes a crucial point in defense of the humanities:

It’s easy to think that college classes are mainly about preparing you for a job. But remember: this may be the one time in your life when you have a chance to think about the whole of your life, not just your job. Courses in the humanities, in particular, often seem impractical, but they are vital, because they stretch your imagination and challenge your mind to become more responsive, more critical, bigger. You need resources to prevent your mind from becoming narrower and more routinized in later life. This is your chance to get them.

This is the sort of argument that is typically ignored in the zeal to show how education improves job prospects. Job prospects are important but are not the primary aim of education.