“The PhD degree is awarded to scholars who have expertise in their chosen field and who have demonstrated the ability to contribute to the growth of knowledge within the field. My own opinion is that most people who are awarded the degree deserve it.”
I don’t disagree. However, I question the standard by which the candidates are judged. I can’t speak for Ph.D., but I have a J.D., and it consistently frustrated me that the “scholars of the class” were really the ones who best argued inside traditional theories. There was no value given for new approaches. So new lawyers were judged by how well they could conform to traditional notions, rather than their ability to blaze new paths.
Off subject kind of, but still a decent example: Law school doesn’t teach people the law, it teaches the philosophy of the law. There is no practical aspect left. We basically have to figure out everything on our own if we want to hang our own shingle. The consequence of this is that law schools have changed their curriculum to instead of furthering a students education and understanding of all subjects, students instead are run through a mill designed to create a usefull product: defense lawyers. This over-emphasis on “employability” has slanted the entire experience. Also students are evaluated on their worth, as defense lawyers, instead of what they can truly bring to the profession.
People like myself, who have no intention of ever joining a large firm, are placed at a distinct disadvantage when we graduate. Of course we are. We are the enemy of defense firms.
It would appear to me that these same types of problems, if you substitute terms, are the same problems affecting most intellectual fields. Would you agree?