Willard and the PhD

It is to me a remarkable, really, contradiction that people believe, especially faculty people, believe in research and they think research is absolutely central and it will determine whether or not you make your career – the quality of your research.

But your research will not be judged in terms of truth.  It will be judged in terms of standards of method . . . .

I think this also affects what has happened to the PhD dissertation.  Standardly the PhD dissertation used to be, was required to be, a contribution to knowledge.  I’m sure many of you have heard that language.  My impression is that is never required anymore.  That in order to get your PhD, you have to outline a research program which is acceptable to your committee and then all you have to do beyond that, is to follow that research program and demonstrate your intelligence and your ability to handle that particular kind of research.

Dallas Willard, What is Skepticism Good For?, 2013