The Day After The Day Of The Experts. Lessons From J.M. Cattell, B.I. Gilman And C.S. Peirce
In his 1914 paper “The Day of the Expert,” Benjamin Ives Gilman expressed the hope that organizations would be ruled by experts instead of managers and politicians. My first part addresses his conception of expertise. Significantly, he referred to J. McKeen Cattell’s article “University Control.” In this paper, Cattell condemned “the transference to university administration of methods current in business and in politics.” I thus examine university policy as a particular case and ask whether managers would do better than experts at the head of colleges. My last part investigates the possibility of a general science of reasoning, whose experts would properly be experts in taking steps, decisions and actions, an essential quality to managers. I follow the lead of Charles S. Peirce, who taught both Gilman and Cattell. I eventually suggest that boards should be mixed, and argue against leaving the whole power to managers, because they are not and cannot be experts in (good) reasoning.
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