[Marxism] The PhD trap

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Mon May 13 09:51:39 MDT 2013


On occasion, universities have been known to grant PhDs to people, who didn't possess such degrees, so that they could qualify for an academic position.  The most famous example being of Ludwig Wittgenstein.  In 1929, years after he had published his famous book the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus., Wittgenstein was offered a lectureship at Cambridge University.  The only problem was Wittgenstein's lack of a doctorate, which was a requirement for the position.  So to make up for the lack, it was decided that the Tractatus would be accepted as Wittgenstein's doctoral dissertation.  He conducted his defense of it in front of a committed that included Bertrand Russell and G.E.  Moore.  Wittgenstein reportedly told both ment, "Don't worry, I know you'll never understand it."  Moore wrote in his examiner's report: "I myself consider that this is a work of genius; but, even if I am completely mistaken and it is nothing of the sort, it is well above the standard required for the Ph.D. degree."


Apparently, something similar happened with the writer and sociologist Daniel Bell.  Columbia University wanted to hire him as a professor, but he was lacking a doctorate, so it was decided that he could submit his first book, The End of Ideology, as his doctoral dissertation, whereupon he was awarded his Ph.D. and was able to assume his professorship.

Jim Farmelant
http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant
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---------- Original Message ----------
From: Mark Lause <markalause at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Marxism] The PhD trap
Date: Mon, 13 May 2013 16:44:01 +0200
\
No degree itself--whether a doctorate or whether from the US or
Greenland--carries power or employment.  Yhose who dispense power amd
employment find it a useful pretense.  Unless they wish to dispense that
power and employment to someone who doesn't have it.  Then it doesn't
matter and those who have it can be sent to feed the fishes.

ML
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