9 February 2014
In Mark Kingwell’s argumentative essay “Education, Democracy, and the Life Worth Living” (2012), Kingwell argues that people should not assume how well someone is educated based on how much money he/she earns. Kingwell’s purpose is to express his opinion towards education in order to convince the reader that education should not be about currency, but rather about making an individual more intelligent and better equipped to cross the threshold into the real world. In this essay Kingwell appears to be writing to any citizen who wants to learn what real education should be about. I personally agree with Mr. Kingwell’s perception on education. I believe that a person’s education is something to be valued more than its eventual monetary pay-off. People should choose a career that they enjoy, no matter the education needed to achieve that career, or the amount of money they will make. In the end, a higher education should be more about a career that will make the person happy, rather than one that will bring only monetary rewards. In this essay, Kingwell employs philosophical reasoning to undermine what he calls the “standard position” on education. He claims that adherents of the “standard position” are the many people who go to college only to get a better job and earn more money after receiving a degree. Kingwell furthers his argument by rationally evaluating the standard position’s assumptions regarding usefulness: “Something is useful when it has instrumental value” (241), states Kingwell. Instrumental value ultimately refers to money (241), which he feels is a false goal for education particularly since he indicates that money is a “tool” and does not have a “use”. Kingwell further dismantles the “standard position”, by noting that, “The standard position was founded on a paradox: university graduates are overqualified for the jobs they do; but you should still go because there is a...
Cited: Kingwell, Mark. “Education, Democracy, and the Life Worth Living.” Connections. Ed. Mary Lamb. Southlake, TX. Fountainhead Press, 2013. 238-243. Print.
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