Professional Education vs. General Education: In what sense is the value of knowledge intrinsic?

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Various forms of academic elitism exclude "professional" education, including medicine, engineering, and law, from the academic curriculum on grounds of the intrinsic, i.e., non-instrumental value of university education and scholarship.In this paper, I shall explore arguments from J.S. Mill, Cardinal John Newman, and I. Kant to this effect, attempting to clarify what non-instrumental value they find in university education and scholarship, and why it should serve to exclude the professional, and sometimes the scientific and the technological. [1] In Kant’s case, I shall point out more integrative options implicit in his approach. I shall than look at some contemporary resolutions of these issues, namely, the relation of knowledge and university education to economic usefulness, on the one hand, and to a free and democratic society, on the other, in the writings of Philip Kitcher (2011), Jacques Derrida (1983) and Jürgen Habermas (1992).[1]  An earlier version of this paper was presented at a conference entitled: "curricula and Humanistic Scholarship: Between Tacit Knowledge and Public Discourse," sponsored by The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, The Sidney M. Edelstein Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas and The Minerva Humanities Center at Tel-Aviv University, and the Volkswagen Stiftung. The author wishes to thank the organizers of the conference, and particularly Prof. Rivka Feldhai and Prof. Gabi Motzkin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104
JournalContemporary Educational Researches Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Dec 2016


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