When One Biographer 'Borrows' From Another, the Dispute Gets Philosophical

When One Biographer 'Borrows' From Another, the Dispute Gets Philosophical 1

Josh Anderson for The Chronicle

Mark Anderson, a philosophy professor at Belmont U., found glaring similarities in two recent biographies of Nietzsche. The author of the second work, published five years after the first, has responded both apologetically and aggressively.

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Josh Anderson for The Chronicle

Mark Anderson, a philosophy professor at Belmont U., found glaring similarities in two recent biographies of Nietzsche. The author of the second work, published five years after the first, has responded both apologetically and aggressively.

If you're ever tempted to get a little loose with your sources and footnotes, imagine that a reader like Mark Anderson will be perusing your work after it's published. That'll keep you on your toes.

A little over a year ago, Mr. Anderson, at the time an assistant professor of philosophy at Belmont University, was trying to decide which of two biographies of Nietzsche to read in preparation for a class he was teaching on the philosopher. He remembered liking Friedrich