Monday, April 6, 2009

Perjury (Part Three): Stanley Fish to the Rescue

By Alex Constantine

And now for something completely ludicrous ...

Over at the New York Times blog, in a defense of Mr. Ward Churchill - a highly controversial Caucasian - attorney Stanley Fish (a media propagandist who opines, "within a year of the day he leaves office, and no matter who succeeds him, George W. Bush will be a popular public figure, regarded with affection and a little nostalgia even by those who voted against him. ... ") finds academic fraud a frivolous matter:

Fish: "I won’t even go into the roster of big-time historians who in recent years have been charged with (and in some instances confessed to) plagiarism, distortion and downright lying. With the exception of one, these academic malfeasants are still plying their trades, receiving awards and even pontificating on television."

Fabricating data, plagiarism? A triviality, less than a footnote in the analysis of a researcher's character ...

" ... Why, given these examples of crimes or errors apparently forgiven, did Ward Churchill lose his job (he may now regain it) when all he was accused of was playing fast and loose with the facts, fudging his sources and going from A to D in his arguments without bothering to stop at B and C? In short, standard stuff. The answer Churchill’s partisans would give (and in the end it may be the right answer) is 'politics.' ... "

On Stanley Fish's Academic "Standards"

R.V. Young in Fish’s Wikipedia entry:

"Because his general understanding of human nature and of the human condition is false, Fish fails in the specific task of a university scholar, which requires that learning be placed in the service of truth. And this, finally, is the critical issue in the contemporary university of which Stanley Fish is a typical representative: sophistry renders truth itself equivocal and deprives scholarly learning of its reason for being. . . . His brash disdain of principle and his embrace of sophistry reveal the hollowness hidden at the heart of the current academic enterprise. ... "


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