From that notorious Trumpkin William James:
He goes on to describe the drive to require the Ph. D. for college educators as "a grotesque tendency" driven by "vanity and sham".
Human nature is once for all so childish that every reality becomes a sham somewhere, and in the minds of President and Trustees the Ph. D. degree is in point of fact already looked upon as a mere advertising resource, a manner of throwing dust in the Public's eye.
"The Ph. D. Octopus", (1903)
He ends with a pointed to question:
Unfortunately, we now know that the answer was "yes".
Other nations suffer terribly from the Mandarin disease. Are we doomed to suffer like the rest?