What is a Dissertation? // What is an Education?

Hayden Westfield-Bell

BoyPoolRhizome by Mark Ingham

I think I stumbled on this article through Leiter Reports – but don’t quote me on that. I’ve got a Feedly library dedicated to philosophy feeds which I go through on occasion, and this particular article caught my attention. Here’s the full text, and I recommend you go and read it.

Essentially, Bharath Vallabha wanted to write a very different kind of dissertation – something non-linear, closer to Wittgenstein’s ‘web’ approach to writing. Unfortunately, due to the constraints of the education system and some internal decisions influenced by the commotion caused, this approach proved difficult and was ultimately shelved. I felt for Vallabha, as I’d struggled with something similar during my MA, and I wanted to respond to something in his lengthy post that made me feel incredibly uncomfortable:

[…] but about the sociological fact that I wasn’t seen as a genius, and so I couldn’t write the way Wittgenstein did. The more I thought…

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