Thursday, February 18, 2010

Philosopher from Belgium accused of plagiarism "disappears"

Here is a bizarre story from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. It seems that the well-known professor of philosophy, Martin Stone, was discovered to have extensively plagiarized the dissertation of a Finnish scholar who is currently a member of the Finnish Parliament. The title of the Finnish dissertation is Probability and Moral Uncertainty in late Medieval and Early Modern Times.

Upon investigation, many more plagiarisms in journal articles showed up. In the middle of the semester, Prof. Stone took a leave of absence from the school for personal reasons, and has now resigned from the University. All references to Stein have been erased from the school's web pages.

The school newspaper has an article about the case and an interview with the Finnish parliamentarian, Iikka Kantola.

Thanks to Erja Moore for the tip! Update 15.2.2013 to reflect that Stone is not Belgian.


  1. I'm a student of philosophy... and a Buddhist (but what the hell does it matter), it's been ages I've been pointing out that (at least) half of Kant's Epistemology is plagiarised from Nagarjuna, a Buddhist scholar (c. 100 BCE)....if that doesn't diminish Kant's work, it as least shows plagiarism among philosophers isn't something that new. Also it's about 15 years (yes, I'm that old)I keep saying Paulo Coelho's (I'm Brazilian, so I can say...;)) best novel, the "Alquimist" is half plagiarised with Buddhist stories (the same style Stone used Copy-Shake-Paste).... but nobody listens...;().... This thing's going on for a while, hasn't it? Just now the globalised (or googlised) world became too small.... you can run for a while, but you can't hide.....yuppy....;)

  2. Ley Dias, Are you sure you mean plagiarism here? Can you prove that Kant READ Nagarjuna? Was his work available in Germany in Kant's day, in a language that Kant knew (German, Latin, perhaps French; but his Greek wasn't very good and he doesn't seem to have had English)? Did Kant take Nagarjuna's writings word for word? Or are you simply referring to ideas that are similar (or may appear so out of context)? From all reports, Stone literally plagiarized in more than one place: word for word copying of the work of other scholars. Can you prove Kant did this? I think you're confusing plagiarism with other things: influence, similarity of ideas, etc. THAT is common in philosophical history - but it's very different from plagiarism.

  3. For the record, Stone is Irish and studied at Oxford. He is not a "Belgian philosopher"