Is the pursuit of such "pleasure" - i.e., knowledge for knowledge's sake, greedy? Foolhardy? I think not. Rather, I believe that education is - at least in part - a process of self-fulfillment and self-realization, through the cultivation of knowledge. I believe that a life truly worth living is, in part, a life of inquiry and discovery. For it is through this process of inquiry that we become wise, gleaning personal insights and meanings and connections which would otherwise be beyond our grasp.
In other words, through the pursuit of knowledge, whatever our goal in its pursuit, we become better, as individual persons, to connect the dots in the real world of our lives and our society. We more greatly realize the importance of values, and the principles and tenets which we hold dear. We then utilize these new perspectives for the benefit of others in ways that we had not imagined. In so doing, we contribute to the advancement of society, and we become more emboldened and inclined to both preserve and improve the health of society.
By way of historical perspective, while the causes are always much more complex, some scholars believe that entire civilizations - such as those of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome - fall when education focuses only on the practical. Civilizations, they state, fail when the education treasured in such societies shifts - from the purposes of raising the spirit of an individual, maintaining and elevating his or her moral compass, and development of the ability of the minds of men and women to think and advocate critically - to a focus only on the practical.
In truth, there is a balance that must take place. We must undertake lifelong learning for the benefit of ourselves (i.e., our financial security) and those around us (i.e., to improve ourselves so that we may benefit others). But we must also pursue paths of lifelong learning for "learning's sake," as the paths we then pursue may well bring us to destinations never envisioned, and to inner strengths otherwise not otherwise unveiled. Perhaps even new insights that add to society's collective body of knowledge. In so benefiting ourselves, we in turn do benefit our society at large.