Letter: Infinite grade area

January 11, 2002

The committee that decides on overseas research students' awards has announced that from this year it will not just be grading the applicants. It will also introduce a grading system based on its assessment of the quality of the references it receives.

It is, I suppose, fair enough to grade the people who grade the applicants. But it does raise a rather obvious question: who will grade the people who grade the people who grade the applicants? And then... But no, it is too early in the new year for an infinite regress.

Keith Graham
Professor of social and political philosophy
University of Bristol.

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