Cognative Dissident

Thursday, January 20

Banished from the holy order of Poly Sigh PhDs!

In addtion to missing the absurdity of "excommunicating" someone with views different than one's own, I think that Alexandra Samuael (hat tip: Jim Lindgren) is a bit confused about what a Ph. D actually is.

Unlike a medical license or accreditation by a State's bar, a Ph.D isn't a license to practice a particular trade. There is no political science version of the AMA or the ABA, without acknowedgement from which, one is by law unable to practice in a particular field.

A Ph.D doesn't, by itself, grant you the right or ability to do anything. It's nothing more than a certificate indicating completition of a given program of study at a particular institution. To be sure, many editors of journals, or university faculties won't grant you and iota of respect without one (though that's more a commentary on the degree to which academica has been infected by a fetish for credentials in preference to knowledge and ideas), but there are surely some who do, and it's possible to practice political science, which is to say, publish papers, conduct research, "promulgate ideas or institute policies" without ever having recieved a PhD.

There isn't any equivilent of disbarment or Excommunication because there isn't anything like the bar (the passage of which is seperate from the completion of a law degree), nor Confirmaton, where specifically gains certain responsibilities and privilages relating to the organization one is joining. A PhD in political science, on the other hand, doesn't admit you into any organization whose members also include Rice and Kissinger and Daniel Drezner, and so it would be quite a feat to kick any of them out of something that they never belonged to in the first place, and indeed, doesn't exist.


  • Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
    And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:34 PM  

  • I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:30 AM  

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