Spiral Historiography: PhDs for everyone will not improve academia (THE)

June 22, 2024
This blog article is the first in a new series called, “Spiral Historiography,” as part of the parent series known as  “Concept in UQ Philosophy and History.” It underlies the fact that I am an axillary in the School of History and Philosophy Inquiry, The University of Queensland, and am due for the recognition of […]

This blog article is the first in a new series called, “Spiral Historiography,” as part of the parent series known as  “Concept in UQ Philosophy and History.” It underlies the fact that I am an axillary in the School of History and Philosophy Inquiry, The University of Queensland, and am due for the recognition of the high-level scholarly work I do. This week I was the only Australian to perform at an international forum in the field of intellectual history.

 

 

 

Lincoln Allison, in an article, in The Higher Education Supplement, re-visited an old chestnut about the value of mass Ph.D. production: “Ever-expanding numbers of doctoral students may suit universities, but one’s twenties should be a time for broad learning and professional development, not for burying oneself in detailed research, says Lincoln Allison.”

 

 

 

What journalists lack is a sense of the spiral historiography, unless they are also professional/academic historians. Allison has several good points only because these issues were debated, and not so long ago. In that intermittent time has been four stages: beginning at the last stage of the last spiral cycle, 4. Historical Forgetfulness; then 1. Widely-Believed Falsehood; followed by a demand and call for 2. Accountability; and then what happens is 3. Falsehood Retreats. It is for these reasons Allison has several very poorly-made points, AND THUS TO POSITIVELY REFRAME:

 

 

 

  1. Those young people in their twenties very much need to undertake detailed research. That does not necessarily mean a Ph.D. course of studies, but all career pathways of value required (requires) detailed research to be performed;
  2.  Many Ph.D. candidates will never complete, but that is not a bad thing for society. Completion rates are important for universities, but the persons of institutional thinking are grossly “inhuman” to think and act as, projected,  Ph.D. candidate persons who do not complete are a “waste of space”;
  3. Ph.D. studies crosses over into life, and there is no legitimate (idiotic)-believed binary of detailed research and life. This is one of Allison’s very good point. Those of the binary thinking are only putting persons, like you and I, down, below their own damaged ego. At this point I would want to pay them back with a nasty insult to their intelligence. I will not. Their lack of intelligence is a fact, but the insult would only be taken as a negativity.

 

 

 

Two Featured Images: Ph D commerce degree displayed on chalkboard concept. Photo 166290330 | Ph D © Neeraj Charurvedi | Dreamstime.com ; PhD and gears. Head and gears with Ph.D. doctorate of philosophy message. Photo 139010502 © Zimmytws | Dreamstime.com

 

 

VALUING THE PH.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.
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