Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Unbearable Lightness of Contemporary Citation Style, Part II

For millennia, people (on the human condition, see Plato 380 BCE, Aristotle 340 BCE, Aquinas 1200, Hobbes 1660, Marx and Engels 1856, Freud 1911, Arendt 1943, and Mises 1949) have written papers (see Gutenberg 1450) examining various aspects of social existence (on the topic of existence, note especially Plato 380 BCE, Aristotle 340 BCE, Aquinas 1200, Descartes 1645, Kierkegaard 1869, Sartre 1943, Camus 1954). In past centuries (for the concept of 'history,' consult Augustine 415, Vico 1700, Hegel 1820, and Collingwood 1943) scholars were often content (recent studies on happiness include Tom 2001, Dick 2007, and Harry 2010) to simply say what they meant (the concept of meaning has been analyzed by Plato 380 BCE, Aristotle 340 BCE, Peirce 1889, Frege 1894, Russell 1925, Ramsey 1936, Kripke 1977, Eco 1984, Sebeok 1987, and Davidson 2001) without citing a multitude of sources who had said something vaguely similar on some remotely connected subject in the past. Today (on modernity, see Strauss 1959, Voegelin 1973, and MacIntyre 1984), however, scholars recognize the need (theories of necessity include those of Leibniz 1700 and Ayer 1936) to fluff up their papers with dozens (the relevant works on number theory to the concept of 'dozens' are especially those of Gauss 1828, Riemann 1856, and Poincare 1898) of citations to works they have never even read.

This represents a huge step forward in scholarship (see the style of many contemporary journals for proof).

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