Discussion 3: Intrinsic and Instrumental Value of Education

What is more important: The intrinsic worth of an education or the instrumental value?

On a side note: is this question a false dilemma?

The intrinsic worth of an education is more important than the instrumental value. This is because the essence of an education is to make a change within the thinking of an individual. If education does not change the learner, then the intrinsic value was not achieved, only the instrumental value. The intrinsic value of education focuses on the inner being of a person. Similarly, if an individual wants to change his or her perception towards anything, there is the need to make a change at the core. This is consistent with the BE DO HAVE model. Ideally, the value of education is to make a change. True change is associated with first “being”, which means making a resolution to change who you are, that is, changing your attitude towards something. This means that if I want to be a teacher, I, first of all, have to acquire an attitude of a teacher to prevent falling back in times of difficulties. Similarly, if I want to be an entrepreneur, I have to acquire an attitude of an entrepreneur first to avoid falling back into searching for a job in case I start making losses. “Doing” is the second element in the model, which is associated with the intrinsic value of education. This means that education has to direct me in doing want I have become.

Yes, on a side note, the question of what is more important, the intrinsic worth of an education or the instrumental value is a false dilemma. This is because it presents two options, but it is not a guarantee that by getting an education, one will acquire the intrinsic value or the instrumental value. The learner can acquire the intrinsic value and fail to acquire the instrumental value. On the other hand, one can acquire the instrumental value and fail to acquire the intrinsic worth. According to the text, “Building Arguments”, a dilemma works in the manner that first the available options are listed, then rule out those that will not work and then make a conclusion that the one that remains is the best or true choice. Using this kind of reasoning, the question of what is important between the intrinsic worth and instrumental value of education is a false dilemma. Despite being a false dilemma, the statement follows a deductive argument, that is, (A) or (B). Not (A). Therefore, B. This means that what is more important is either intrinsic worth of education or instrumental value (A or B). Not instrumental value (B). Therefore, intrinsic worth (A). But it is a false dilemma because getting an education does not guarantee either intrinsic worth or instrumental value.

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