Intellectual honesty is essential to the field of philosophy, as it is to all academic fields.
We take academic integrity to mean a commitment to acknowledging the source of our ideas, to presenting ideas as our own only when they are our own, and to giving credit to others when we discuss their ideas.
Preferred Citation Style
Citation styles vary within philosophy, and there is no one style deemed to be standard for philosophy. Rather, practices vary within the sub-disciplines. For instance, the Chicago style is often used for work in the history of philosophy, while the APA style is often used for contemporary work, particularly work that engages with the sciences. With this in mind, we suggest that unless instructed otherwise, you should feel free to use the APA, Chicago, or MLA citations practices. Regardless of which you choose, make sure that you consistently use the same style within the same paper.
What counts as common knowledge varies tremendously across the sub-disciplines, and between different course levels: much more counts as common knowledge in a 400-level seminar than counts in a 100-level course. Feel free to talk to your professor about what counts as common knowledge for your particular class, and when in doubt, cite!
In general, the department believes in the value of shared resources and encourages you to consult with the College’s official authorized aids (the student and professional staff at the Center or Teaching, Learning, and Research (CTLR), as well as Middlebury’s professional librarians). Depending on the class, you may also be encouraged to discuss material and papers with you peers, but you should always consult with your professor regarding authorized resources for your course.
The department library contains a number of books discussing citation practices, writing styles, and academic integrity. Please stop by and take a look!
Please also visit the College’s official statement of Academic Honesty, which binds all students.