[KB] Potential KB history projects

Clarke Rountree rountrj at uah.edu
Mon Nov 27 13:14:03 EST 2017

Hi David,

KB told me the same thing about Levi's plagiarism in 1986. I delivered a
paper on the Levi issue at NCA in 2014. It turns out that the timing is not
very supportive of the charge. Levi published this short book as an article
in the U of Chicago Law Review in Spring 1948, before Burke visited Chicago
(where Levi was). Correspondence has Jerome Frank recommending the Grammar
to Levi AFTER Levi published the article but before he published the book
version; but no changes were made and Levi does not mention to Frank that
he's read Burke. Finally, and importantly, Levi's position ignores some
important points Burke makes about constitutions, so if he did steal from
Burke he did a lousy job. Ideas about the law and constitutions being
contradictory in their values and goals were developed by the Legal
Realists decades earlier, so Levi didn't need Burke for that.


On Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 1:13 AM, David Erland Isaksen <daviderland at gmail.com
> wrote:

> Hi!
> I discovered some rather interesting small tidbits of information which
> could spin off research projects that are beyond my specialty, but would be
> great contributions to Burke scholarship (if they haven't already been
> done).
> 1. *An Introduction to Legal Reasoning* by Edward H. Levi actually
> plagiarizes Kenneth Burke's Constitution section of *A* *Grammar of
> Motives. *According to Kenneth Burke, the author (Edward H. Levi, even
> admitted that he borrowed his concept and a lot of material from Burke's
> book (without attribution, I might add), and his excuse was that "you are
> not really in my field, therefore it would not have looked good if I had
> cited you." This text has become a classic and go-to guide in law schools
> (and is still being used very frequently (https://www.amazon.com/Introd
> uction-Legal-Reasoning-Edward-Levi/dp/022608972X). Some call it one of
> the foundational texts in modern legal theory.
> Burke mentions this in a letter to Watson in February 1950.
> 2. Kenneth Burke participated in a broadcast (or two broadcasts). One is
> clearly mentioned as occuring at the San Fransisco Scool of Fine Arts April
> 8th and 9th, 1949. It is possible that there is still a recording of that
> available.
> It may be the same one he is referring to later in a December 1949 letter.
> Like I said, this may have been covered before. In that case, please
> forgive me for my rookie mistakes ;)
> Greetings,
> David Isaksen
> University of Agder
> University College of Southeast Norway
> www.intelligenceofpersuasion.blogspot.com
> _______________________________________________
> KB mailing list
> KB at kbjournal.org
> http://kbjournal.org/mailman/listinfo/kb_kbjournal.org

Dr. Clarke Rountree
Professor of Communication Arts
Associate Dean for Recruitment and Outreach for the College of Arts,
Humanities, and Social Sciences
243 Morton Hall
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL  35899
clarke.rountree at uah.edu
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