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Intellectual dishonesty
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Intellectual dishonesty

Intellectual dishonesty is an ethical blunder that stems from self-deception or a covert agenda, which is expresses through a misuse of various rhetorical devices. The unwary reader may be deceived as a result, but whether the intention to deceive the reader can be proved or not is immaterial.

Intellectual dishonesty takes many forms. The self-deceptions that bolster our sense of self-worth are perhaps wired into human nature and certainly have survival value. Simple plagiarism passes off someone else's words as one's own. The petty crime becomes intellectual dishonesty when the plagiarism is employed to bolster a public perception of one's own intellectual strength or authority.

The examples that follow will doubtless elicit a thrill of schadenfreude, but they are not intended as a mere Wall of Shame. Simply to label as intellectually dishonest any biased expression with which we do not agree is not sufficient (and should result in speedy removal from this set of examples). But dispassionately to analyze the self-deceptions or hidden agendas, the spurious justifications for fraud, and the rhetorical devices through which intellectual dishonesty is expressed, are wholesome exercises, both for Wikipedians and Wikipedia readers.

See also