Martin Stone, professor of philosophy, is one of the most brazen plagiarists UD‘s covered on this blog.

But this is his only distinction. Otherwise, his plagiarism is much like the other cases of academic plagiarism UD has written about: Because a professor rather than a student did it, his university issued no punishment, but on the contrary allowed him to leave the institution quietly by lying about having fallen ill; and the particular plagiarized material was only one of many acts of plagiarism on his part.

I suppose another small distinction in the Stone case involves his having been a philosopher of religion who pontificated about morality.

The Leuven University student newspaper is not happy about this man, his plagiarism, and the university’s response:

… [The] Institute and the K.U.Leuven together intentionally kept silent relevant information on the functioning of a highly-esteemed member of the academic staff. Though protecting the professor and the reputation of the Institute can be seen as an act of nobility, it is unfair towards the students – as they have the right to know what is going on. Apart from that, it becomes clear once more that the university uses different standards when it comes down to deciding on cases of sentencing plagiarism committed by either students or professors. Also ex-students who were supervised by professor Stone and especially the ones who earned their PhD under his guidance may have been treated unjustly by covering up info of this matter and size.

The member of the Finnish parliament whose work Stone stole found that “tens of pages were identical or nearly identical [to my thesis], although my name was not mentioned at all.”

That was just one of Stone’s publications plagiarized from the work of this man. Stone mined the parliamentarian’s work very extensively. “[N]ot only one, but four articles published by Stone were [in] large part …plain copies of my dissertation.”

“Stone has plagiarized several other researchers, too.”

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4 Responses to “Stone Drops”

  1. Angelo Says:

    It’s slightly misleading to say that K.U. Leuven issued no punishment. The university officially removed its affiliation from all of Stone’s publications. He was more or less forced to resign his position and, considering the publicizing of the university’s findings and action concerning his publications, he will probably never teach again anywhere. Given the scale of his plagiarism, I doubt he could even get a job as a high school Latin instructor at this point. This is as it should be, of course. The worst affected victims of this socio-pathic career of plagiarism are the present and former grad students in philosophy at Leuven. I don’t know the law in Belgium, but he may well end up being sued by those students who worked under him and now find his reference to be worse than useless.

  2. Angelo Says:

    For those who care to read a statement from the Dean of Philosophy at Leuven, there is a pdf linked from today’s edition of the Institute of Philosophy newsletter:

  3. Trudy Says:

    Sadly, nothing new that in extremely hierarchical institutions, such as universities, established professors get a vastly different treatment than those at the bottom of the totem pole, such as students. It is good, however, that these things come to light, be it by the media or by blogs such as yours.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Thank you for those details, Angelo.

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