Taking a Stand - Essay Example

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John P. Minogue’s article ‘The Twentieth-Century University is Obsolete’. In addition to this examples form Plato’s and Aristotle’s work are also…
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Taking a Stand This paper aims to support the argument that ‘education should not be conducted for cash’ on the basis of Rev. John P. Minogue’s article ‘The Twentieth-Century University is Obsolete’. In addition to this examples form Plato’s and Aristotle’s work are also discussed.
Minogue states that higher education has undergone a significant evolutionary phase as a result of which the current form education is produced. The new specie according to him concentrates over disseminating the available knowledge, for instance, in the contemporary universities there are few knowledgeable engineers who prepare courses to form a degree program. This is subsequently presented to masses by professionals rather than academics while focusing on the economic effects (Minogue). Minogue named this new specie as the for-profit universities and educational institutes. However, the practice of for-profit education was first criticized by Plato and Aristotle in ancient Greece.
Fee-based education was actually an idea presented by Sophists who were immigrant professional teachers in Athens. They started offering higher education services in return of some fees. Researchers argue that three prominent Sophists including Hippias, Protagoras and Isocrates had a clear idea about competition. Since their approach was significantly innovative therefore they faced immense criticism from Plato and his student Aristotle. Both of them argued that such educational activities which are based upon earning profit and commercialization will have negative impact on the Greek society (Stabile). Plato in particular was against the for-profit education because he believed that there is absolutely no connection between truth and profit, money and education. Moreover, Plato viewed profit based teachings as predicted on an extreme pride regarding what represents knowledge. Plato also argued that for-profit education gives rise to false class divisions depending upon the odd structures which have value but no truth (Bartlett).
Aristotle focused more towards the liberal education which actually reflects the basic conditions and assumptions of the Athenian society. Here, liberal was used in two different meanings. Firstly, education should not be aimed at generating profits neither it should be expressed in form of end-utility. Secondly, liberal education means a balance between moral and intellectual excellence (Yu). He rejected the idea of fee-based education in the same way as his teacher Plato did. Contrary to this, Sophists used to charge fees for teaching different public speaking skills, convincing tactics, declamation etc. which was considered the best teaching method in that age (Caputo). Moreover, they taught people how to gain agreement of others even if you are wrong. Such lessons actually led to greater social and moral manipulation as predicted by Plato.
Based on Rev. John P. Minogue’s article, Plato’s dialogues and Aristotle’s essays it can be said with confidence that education should not be associated with profit. This can be further substantiated on the basis of the fact that when teachers begin to charge high amounts for their services then social and moral values are drastically influenced because courses which do not pay well to the organization are eliminated irrespective of their necessity for community development. Moreover, people manipulate teachings in order to earn more and more profits which clearly reflect the idea presented by Plato that truth and profit, money and education cannot co-exist. In the long run communities which charge for basic educational services actually become more materialistic while losing their intellectual and moral strengths.
Works Cited
Bartlett, A.J. Badiou and Plato: An Education by Truths. UK: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Caputo, John D, and Linda Alcoff. St. Paul Among the Philosophers. Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 2009.
Minogue, Rev. John P. The 20th Century University Is Obsolete. Inside Higher ED. 2006. Web.
23 June 2014.
Stabile, Donald. Economics, Competition and Academia: An Intellectual History of Sophism
Versus Virtue. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2007.
Yu, Anthony C. Comparative Journeys: Essays on Literature and Religion East and West. New
York: Columbia University Press, 2009. Read More
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