Here at NewAPPS we have been following critically the story of how Julian Young's notes of Curtis Cate's book "sometimes lost contact with their sources" (see here, here, here, and here). Eva Cybulska calls our attention to Julian Young's latest non-apology.
Rather than reminding Young that he still has not done the minimally acceptable thing in this matter, we will just quote him as an example of a modern-day apology: in the apt words of my colleague, Dennis Des Chene, "deny having done anything exactly, um, wrong, while reducing your victim to a mere compiler of timetables." Young writes:
"That certain of Cate's phrases appeared in my book is entirely due to my inexperience and carelessness as a biographer. Sometimes a phrase just stuck in my head, appropriated so completely that it seemed to be my own. The main problem, however, was this. Cate was where I first began to try to grasp the facts of Nietzsche's life. Consequently, my notes on his book were written four or five years before I began to write the biography itself. Coming across a phrase in my notes I too quickly took it to be a précis of my reading of Cate whereas it now transpires that occasionally it was Cate's own phrase. Trained as I am to be on guard against unacknowledged use of other people's ideas, I was too relaxed when it came to the manner of reporting biographical facts. Without properly thinking about it, I tended to assume—wrongly—that the manner of reporting humdrum historical facts no more counts as intellectual property than the manner of reporting a bus timetable. Since Cate appeared in my bibliography I assumed it would be obvious that I had used him as a source of basic historical data. This was naïve and thoughtless."