What Exactly Is A Doctorate?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AV8R, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

  2. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    I don't have a doctorate, but I think that his graphical representation is a pretty good analogy! It makes sense to me!

  3. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Makes you realize how insignificant a PhD really is. Subjectively it's a big deal, but not such a big deal when considered in the grand scope of things.
  4. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Some of the responders take great liberty by inferring things not remotely suggested in the example. The drawings and explanation do not imply that this represents the only way that knowledge is either internalized or expanded. It is only meant to show a perspective relative to the topic: a doctorate.

    Some responses also make clear that many do not understand the purpose of a doctorate, or more specifically a research doctorate (PhD for purpose of my frame of reference). A PhD, by definition, must in some way produce at least a mustard seed of new knowledge - through reflection, context, analysis, discovery, etc. A lit review in a dissertation presents a view of the existing body of knowledge as it relates to the variables associated with the hypothesis (that is the large circle), and then executes a research design that expands on that body of knowledge in some, often, very small way - such that it adds to the body of knowledge (hence the very small dimply in the outer circle).

    The graphics was spot on, relative to a research based doctoral degree program. If that dimple did not exist after the completion of a research doctorate, you would not have completed successfully. I did not see any reference to this being the only way to expand human knowledge or that higher education was the only way to increase your own knowledge. The presentation was offered in a very specific context. It was a good representation of what the expected outcome of a doctoral program would be.
  5. rickyjo

    rickyjo New Member

    I love it! Truly it is both an inspiring and humbling graphic, or I imagine it would be if pursuing a PHD.
  6. Stadium

    Stadium New Member

    Pretty amusing.
  7. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    I will tell you when I FINALLY get there. LOL
  8. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I'm having difficulty understanding who this post was addressed to. Were you commenting on posts that were present on a different thread? There were only two replies above yours and neither were making the assertions you mention.
  9. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    I dunno... breaking through the outer surface of all human knowledge seems pretty significant to me. ;)
  10. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Removing my snarky boundary comment.
  11. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Well, when you put it that way... :)
  12. Spinner

    Spinner New Member

    Imagine the alternative...

    Imagine the alternative...
    Living in the middle ages.
    We believe mysticism and wizards.
    Most of us work in manual labor.
    Using leeches to cure illness.
    No antibiotics.
    The average lifespan is 40 years of age.
    Not enough food to feed us.
    Ahh, the good old days.
  13. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    If you click on the link that this thread references (as shown in the first post):

    What Exactly Is a Doctorate?

    ...when you get to the bottom of the content on that page, there is a litany of comments/posts from "responders" offering their opinions on the article. My comments were a reflection to the responders comments on that article. The perspectives left by the readers are as interesting as the content of the article, itself.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2010
  14. rickyjo

    rickyjo New Member

    Augh. I hate the comments, so many negative ones. We get that not every PHD pushes the bounds of human knowledge, but it's a nice way of looking at it, and many do. Above all the graphic is inspiring, a "look what you can do" but at the same time "you can do better!".
  15. whoisjohnathan

    whoisjohnathan New Member

    I think its a degree...right...he he :)
  16. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Stupid question; I didn't read all the way to the bottom. Thanks, Paul.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2010
  17. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    You mean other than a waste of time? (J/k)
  18. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Maybe, maybe not. I can pick up a rock and look at what's squirming around underneath, and I'm seeing a sight that no human eyes have ever seen before. But it might nevertheless be trivial.

    I think that a lot of doctoral research might be trivial in a similar way. It might be new knowledge in a literal sense, but it isn't anything that gets other scholars' attention or advances the state of the art.

    That's one of the reasons why I pay attention to the academic reputations of doctoral programs and to what kind of research work they have been doing.
  19. rickyjo

    rickyjo New Member

    My math major friend was talking about knowledge for the sake of knowledge in math. He pointed out that every once in a while this knowledge that was once collected for no other purpose than knowing it has turned out useful once another piece of knowledge was uncovered. I'm afraid I don't know the specifics, I hate math, but I think that one could look at arbitrary knowledge somewhat differently in many cases due to these events.

    Or perhaps it doesn't apply as broadly as I would like to believe.
  20. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    Technically speaking, every doctorate should push the bounds of human knowledge, otherwise it should not be awarded. Coursework has nothing to do with the doctorate...any dimwit can pass courses given enough time and opportunity. However, it's that beautiful 300-500 page document that is defended in front of your betters that is the true testament to human knowledge. This is why I am absolutely disgusted with some individual "universities" churning out hundreds of new "doctors" per year.

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