philosophy meta-forum

Someone is not happy about Amelie Rorty's use of a pseudonym

Fujiwara

17 day(s) ago

http://dailynous.com/2017/10/13/amelie-rortys-use-pseudonym/#comment-126902

"Early in my career I wrote a paper exploring the relationship between affect and ideas in Freud’s early writings. I met Professor Rorty, and asked her if she would be willing to read and comment on my paper. She said she would be glad to, and I gave her a copy. She did not comment on it.

A few years later, an article was published by an Israeli psychiatrist Tov-Ruach, and I was amazed that it seemed to have some indebtedness to my paper. At the very end, there was a “compare” citation to my paper with respect to one point. That solitary citation and enigmatic “compare” seemed odd in the face of other similarities. I did not know how an Israeli psychiatrist could have got hold of my paper, but obviously she had it.

I had no suspicion of any identity between Rorty and Tov-Ruach. I had presented a version of the paper in several venues, and I think I had given it to several people, so any one of these, I thought, might have (inappropriately) circulated it. But to Israel, so far away, and to a psychiatrist, did seem mysterious.

I felt very badly, but had many things going on in my life, and also, I think, have been a bit naive and trusting, so time past and I didn’t do anything.

Then I was shocked to find out that Tov-Ruach was actually Rorty. I can’t recall exactly how I found out, but I believe it may have been some kind of acknowledgement in print by Rorty herself. I felt betrayed. Some time later, I learned that there was going to be a reception for Rorty at Harvard. I went, and confronted Rorty... ."

Vatsyayana

17 day(s) ago

Wow. That's incredible. I wondered whether Rorty / Tov-Ruach might have multiple personality disorder (I know it's a rather far-fetched hypothesis) but then I read all of the comment quoted above:

"Some time later, I learned that there was going to be a reception for Rorty at Harvard. I went, and confronted Rorty with what I saw as her reliance on my paper. She did not deny it. She laughed, and asked why was it that I was unwilling to share my work with her? I was so astounded that I just moved away and left, quite shaken. Her response was totally unexpected. As I left, she called to me, and smiling–grinning almost–she said she would be happy if I sent her any further papers I wrote.

I felt I had learned a hard lesson."

It seems as though Rorty / Tov-Ruach knows exactly what she is doing. It still strikes me as batshit crazy though . . . and creepy.

Jean-Paul

17 day(s) ago

The comment on Dailynous is signed "Anne Thompson PhD", Footnote 11 to the 1988 Tov-Ruach/Rorty paper says "Cf. Anne Thompson". I wonder which Anne Thompson this is..

Jaegwon

17 day(s) ago

What's supposed to be the problem here?

Nelson

17 day(s) ago

What's supposed to be the problem here?

Jaegwon

On one reading of the situation, Amelie Rorty borrowed some ideas from a manuscript that she had read, used a pseudonym to publish material that was partially not hers and covering her tracks by doing so, and then was pretty creepy about it when confronted. It's not totally obvious that that is what is being alleged, but it seems that it's in the ballpark. Plagiarism is bad. This is bad plus weird.

Uisang

17 day(s) ago

Given just the info on this thread, here is another reading of the situation. Perhaps Thompson was just a generic influence on the paper, but was only mentioned in one "compare citation". Thompson is still credited, just on a specific point rather than as part of a broad acknowledgement section. That doesn't seem too bad to me, certainly nothing like plagiarism. On the other hand, if the whole thesis or some of the main arguments were just stolen and uncredited that's bad, and Nelson above seems right. But again, if Thompson was just part of a cloud of background reading that inspired the thing, then the specific vs. general ACK seems like a minor oversight.On that reading, the whole multiple name thing is irrelevant to this (there is nothing to cover up in Rorty's mind), and so perhaps Rorty just had no idea Thompson was upset, and maybe even missed the "confrontation" framing, and then just smiled and was happy to see her since she had indeed enjoyed Thompson's work and found it useful, and then puzzled at some mention of "no more sharing" but then just shrugged it off or figured she misunderstood and said "ok keep sending me stuff!"

Epicharmus

16 day(s) ago

Is the use of the pseudonym is relevant or irrelevant to Thompson's grievance here?

Lev

16 day(s) ago

I've got a rat based chicken for you; it's Carol Hay's ideas and expression.

Epicharmus

16 day(s) ago

What?

Bhartrhari

16 day(s) ago

Oh man I missed the hilarity in the blogpost thread: https://www.philosophymetaforum.org/blogs/374/11. OMG why are all these names appearing above my posts!!! LOL

Christine

16 day(s) ago

Oh man I missed the hilarity in the blogpost thread: https://www.philosophymetaforum.org/blogs/374/11. OMG why are all these names appearing above my posts!!! LOL

Bhartrhari

lmao

Archibald

16 day(s) ago

HAHAHAHAHA! Poor Kenneth!

Archibald

16 day(s) ago

I guess Fujiwara must be Anne then.

Hi Anne!


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