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  1. Paul Armstrong Paul Armstrong

    Hegel said of all modern philosophers, “You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all.”

  2. That reminds me of a cartoon in which a man is making reservations at a fancy restaurant. The maître d’ says, “Very good, Dr. Smith. Now is that an M.D. or merely a Ph.D.?”

  3. Can you understand Kant?

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      I can if I ignore the cant.

  4. PhDs are real doctors. It’s MDs that are the copycats.

    Okay, philosophers get it themselves from lawyers and theologians. Still puts barbers way down the list, though.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      I think that philosophy was not initially regarded as a classical discipline in the medieval universities, but I’m open to correction. Philosophy became a discipline after the 12th century and the revival of Aristotle via Averroes in the Sorbonne dispute.

      • At the mediaeval university the undergraduate course of study was the seven liberal arts in the so-called lower factulty, the trivium i.e. logic, rhetoric and grammar and the quadrivium i.e. arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy; this course of studies was closed with a BA. A deeper course of studies in the same subjects led to the MA degree that qualified the holder to teach in the lower faculty. Those who wished to study further progressed to one of the three higher faculties, law (civil or canonical), medicine or theology where they first acquired a MA and then a doctorate. Philosophy did not feature as a separate discipline but in the scholastic university the trivium was taught using the works of Aristotle as textbooks.

      • Paul Armstrong Paul Armstrong

        Long overlooked, Moses Maimonides worked as a rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt and with the contemporary Muslim sage Averroes, he promoted and developed the philosophical tradition of Aristotle, which gave both men prominent and controversial influence in the West, where Aristotelian thought had been lost for centuries.

  5. Neil Neil

    Two stupid slurs in the comic; the other is the suggestion that academia isn’t the real world. WTF? PhD comics used to be good.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      I think he’s parodying what medicos think here…

  6. Neil Neil

    I don’t think so – he’s claiming that the hypothesis is doing explanatory work.

  7. It is an unfortunate accident of the English language that we have no equivalent of French médecin, Italian medico, German Arzt, etc. The word “physician” is equivalent in meaning, but, for whatever reason, it has never achieved an equivalent degree of currency in colloquial language. So people use the word “doctor” in its place, even though, etymologically, a “doctor” is a learned person, or by derivation a member of one of the so-called learned professions.

  8. John M John M

    Since when were medical doctors all surgeons? Surgery is a very specific discipline within clinical medicine. In fact, in my part of the world at least, when someone becomes a surgeon they revert back to either “Mr” or “Ms”. So THEY aren’t “real doctors” anyway.
    Non-surgical non-psychiatrist doctors are called “physicians” by other medical staff, which may help explain why it it has not come to be used as a generic term for all medics.
    For what it’s worth, I find that medical doctors don’t tend to hold the attitude being made fun of above. Maybe the public think this way.
    But the real fuss over who get to be the “real doctors” generally comes from people in academia.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      I used to joke with my GP (general practitioner here in Australia, roughly an MD) that I was more qualified than he was, and he was the one who would say, “Yes, but I can prescribe drugs.

  9. John Monfries John Monfries

    Yes, but what about dentists and chiropractors? How many “real” doctors are there?

    The terminology is indeed very confusing in English. The Indonesians (I assume through colonial influence from the Dutch, though I never checked on that) have a useful though subtle way of making a distinction.

    For them, a “Dr” is a medico, whereas a” DR” is a PhD. So a Mr Suharto who acquires a medical PhD can become DR Dr Suharto. We need some similar distinction in English.

    In terms of prestige though, medicos still win, I fancy.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      They make more money than the usual Phud.

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