Re: Forgetting

Rotholz (jrotholz@WSUNIX.WSU.EDU)
Sat, 4 Nov 1995 09:22:24 -0800

On Sat, 4 Nov 1995, John McCreery wrote: > > But another memory that has
stuck with me all these years was the > observation made by a teacher of a
course in French Enlightenment > literature circa 1964 (the teacher's name
is, alas, forgotten, and better > historians than I am should chime in and
correct the facts). What I > remember him saying is that in reading the
great enlightenment authors, > Voltaire, Diderot, etc., we frequently find
whole passages from other > authors reproduced with no acknowledgment
whatsover. The point is not > that several great writers were plagiarists,
but that plagiarism was a > concept foreign to them. Naively assuming that
all were involved in a > shared project of advancing knowledge, they
simply picked up and reused > whatever formulation seemed best to them at
the time they were writing. > > What an oddly attractive idea. > > Peace,
> > John McCreery

The idea of being a naive plagiarist reminds me of a wonderful quote I
ran across somehwere:

If something is true, what does it matter who said it?


Jim Rotholz (not to be confused with Anonymous)