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Greg Jones

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Is a classical education, a prerequisite for innovation?

Is a classical education, a prerequisite for successful, meaningful, or useful innovation? Or does it only apply to certain narrow forms of innovation, or not at all? Can literally anyone have a piece of the so called American dream, or does it require years of classical education?

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    Dec 15 2013: Perhaps If I were to ask, is a university education, a prerequisite for successful, meaningful, or useful innovation? Perhaps it would make the question more current and relevant.
    • Dec 15 2013: In that case, it really depends on what sort of university education we're talking about.
      Studying things like engineering or software design shoot a person's innovative ability straight up, while studying something like philosophy or literature, while potentially interesting, probably won't lead to anything new (there are exceptions of course, but they only serve to prove the rule).

      It used to be that people got along fine without a formal education in those things, but as the complexity grew over the generations, that stopped being the case. You could design a better grain grinding windmill on intuition alone; good luck trying to do the same with say, a modern jet engine.
      If you're trying to innovate with something less technical, an education isn't as crucial. Intuition holds its own in many of the more humane disciplines. An all around untrained individual doesn't know the first thing about, say, engineering, but it doesn't take a degree to argue philosophy.

      Of course, most people don't refer to the more technical disciplines as "classical". Make of that what you will.

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