Richard McKeon’s anekdote over Spinoza-plagiaat


Een anekdote die Richard
McKeon over wie het vorige blog ging, vertelde aan zijn student die later een boek
over hem schreef, vond ik te aardig om hem aan het eind van het vorige blog weg
te stoppen. Daarom breng ik hem in een apart blog. De anekdote is te vinden in 







George Kimball
Plochmann, Richard McKeon: A Study.
University Of Chicago Press, 1990

Blurb: In the
contemporary atmosphere of concern with the problems of relativism, cultural
pluralism, and textuality, the time is ripe for rediscovery of the thought of
Richard McKeon, one of the most important but neglected American philosophers
of this century. This study by George Kimball Plochmann, a former student of
McKeon's, is the first book-length treatment of the ideas of this legendary
teacher, scholar, and diplomat who outlined a profound and creative vision for
the reorganization of all knowledge and discourse. [

In “I Reminiscences
of the Years 1932-49”, p. 3-4 is te lezen:

“During a visit to
his office that spring, McKeon told me that a student of his in another course
had turned in a term paper plagiarized from Joseph Ratner's study of Spinoza,
with minor verbal changes made here and there: "This was an odd point of
view" was altered to ". . . an exotic point of view," and more
of the sort. If, said McKeon, this fellow had done a paper about someone the
literature on whom was less familiar to me, I would probably not have spotted
the deception. But I had written my doctoral dissertation on Spinoza, and this
was the student's fatal choice. So I helped him by taking down the Ratner book
and changing back his alterations to the original wordings, and putting in quotation
marks and page references as well. I gave the paper an F-plus, and when I
handed it back I told the student that the plus was not for him but against
myself, because there were two paragraphs that I could not account for—he had
either written them himself or copied from some other source that I did not
know. And then he told me that he had never even heard of Joseph Ratner, so I said to him that in that case one of
your fraternity brothers has played you a dirty trick.”