I woke today thinking about Plato — his three appetites of the soul.: pleasure, reputation, and knowledge.
Who can be sure whether the drive for pleasure exceeds that drive for status — reputation?
But knowledge, especially today, comes in last. And society pays a high price.
Postscript. Perhaps there is no greater topic to man than that of appetites. The billions of dollars spent on advertising, to create needs that don’t really exist. The “top university” facade. Substance abuse. Brands. All creating the deepest forms of anxiety and depression due to envy. I’m not claiming to have an answer, other than to say that once upon a time, only the privileged could receive an education. Only those in the minority could be learned. Around 50 years ago, higher education in America became an instrumental value, versus intrinsic. Today learning (the pursuit of knowledge) is a means to an end: money, pleasure, status. Envy hurts society.