Žižek plagiarism scandal

Žižek’s plagiarism of a book review in a white nationalist magazine . There have been many important intellectuals who have had similar dust-ups with minor incidents of plagiarism. Heidegger and Kierkegaard, for example, and people still read them. Everyone reads other works and borrows ideas from them without necessarily citing every single idea – we legitimately don’t remember the original source.

To put a different angle on it, who would actually want to read a book with white nationalist ties? Who would want to cite a white nationalist magazine? There were times when intellectuals were hesitant to cite anything with Buddhist origin, out of fear of looking flakey. In literature, nobody in academia would admit to reading or directly talk about fantasy and science fiction, but their pretentious counterparts, “magical realism” and “speculative fiction,” are universally acclaimed.

On the other side, though, the rules of the academy are that credit must be given to non-original ideas – always. If you or I did this on a dissertation, our academic careers would be over. Heck, people left and right are disavowing any former support for the ideas of Colin McGinn after his sex scandal, and his mistake was outside of the scope of his intellectual thought.

I want to see how the dust settles on this. I don’t feel like this should be a career-ending black mark, but it does reflect Žižek’s sloppy approach to intellectual thought and scholarship.

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