Studies in Philosophy and Education 32 (6):623-639 (2013)

In recent decades education is increasingly perceived as an instrument for generating economic growth and enhancing production. Unexpectedly, however, many prominent economists, throughout history, have rejected this view of education. This article examines the grounds on which Tibor Scitovsky, who was one of the leading economists of twentieth century America, objected to the spread of production oriented education. The article begins by an historical overview of the relationship between economic and educational theory. It then explains why Scitovsky held the economic growth achieved in the 20th necessitates an educational reform and presents the outline of this proposed educational reform. It is argued that by distinguishing between creative and defensive forms of consumption and by highlighting the inherent tension between comfort and pleasure, Scitovsky offers an innovative and challenging conception of the desired relationship between economics and education that can serve as an alternative to the one that prevails today and amend its many fallacies. The paper concludes by briefly exploring some of the educational implications that stem from Scitovsky’s thought. It is maintained that Scitovsky’s views provides an original defense for teaching the arts and humanities and a suggestive perspective on consumer education and teaching of high culture.
Keywords Philosophy of education  Economics  Adam Smith  Scitovsky  Consumerism  Theory  Human capital
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-013-9355-6
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Principles of Economics.John S. Mackenzie - 1891 - Mind 16 (61):110-113.
The Demands of Liberal Education.Meira Levinson - 1999 - Oxford University Press UK.

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