News & Notes: Harman adds voice to plagiarism accusations against ex-Harvard professor
Hauser’s book “Moral Minds,” published in 2006, was heavily inspired by ideas from Georgetown professor and then-Cornell graduate student John Mikhail’s 2000 doctoral thesis, according to Harman. Harman stated in an online essay that Hauser’s book did not contain appropriate attributions relative to the amount of reused source material.
“Some of the central ideas of Hauser’s book and many of its details seemed to me to be clearly indebted to Mikhail’s work, although this indebtedness was mostly unmentioned,” Harman wrote in his essay.
Hauser’s online response stated, “These accusations confuse ordinary intellectual influence for malfeasance, while grossly distorting the history of my ideas and their influence.” Hauser resigned from Harvard in August a year after he was found guilty of scientific misconduct.
Hauser references Mikhail’s work nine times in his book, including a mention in the acknowledgments: “A special thanks ... to John Mikhail, whose thesis on Rawls’ linguistic analogy greatly influenced my own thinking.”