The History of Plagiarism

To the Editor:

In the July 27 Colloquy in Print, Donald L. McCabe says: "Clearly, plagiarism has gone on forever" ("Fighting Online Plagiarism," The Review). McCabe expresses a commonly held -- though, I think, pernicious -- opinion. Like other academic practices, plagiarism has a history, ... and we ignore that history at our peril. To take but one example, historians of the German university (I am thinking here of R. Steven Turner and William Clark) have shown that notions like the