PhDs are meant to make a significant contribution to knowledge. Who checks this contribution to see if it is genuine, valid and useful? This task is performed by just two examiners – often colleagues or friends of the supervisor. I wonder if this process is always as rigorous as we pretend it is?
If contribution to knowledge could be meaningfully assessed – and I can’t believe in it myself – you’d need a team of independent, anonymous assessors, and advice from an epistemologist.