Philosophy and Theology

Volume 32, Issue 1/2, 2020

M. V. Dougherty
Pages 27-61

Plagiarism in the Sacred Sciences
Three Impediments to Institutional Reform

This article diagnoses the problem of plagiarism in academic books and articles in the disciplines of philosophy and theology. It identifies three impediments to institutional reform. They are: (1) a misplaced desire to preserve personal and institutional reputations; (2) a failure to recognize that attribution in academic writing admits of degrees; and (3) a disproportionate emphasis on the so-called “intention to plagiarize.” A detailed case study provides an illustration of the need for institutional reform in the post-publication processes in the disciplines of philosophy and theology.