I don’t know who Jonah Lehrer is. The name sounds familiar, and I’ve probably read stuff by him at some point, but I’m not a follower of his work. I hear he is in trouble for “self-plagiarism”, though, and I’m not sure what that even means. Can he sue himself?
I don’t see how it is possible. I could see people being upset about him being unoriginal, but how mad can you get at him for recycling his own stuff? I mean, Paul Krugman has been using the same lines about “Very Serious People” for years, and no one gets mad at him. (Nor should they, since it persists in being true.) And you, loyal readers–if you had a nickel for every time I’ve written about “Nationalism” and “Cosmopolitanism“, you’d be rich.
It’s not like he’s stealing from anybody–it’s just that he’s out of ideas. Well, that happens to everyone; the only options are to just write random stuff you know nothing about, or else to re-use old ideas. It’s like this “Dilbert” comic strip.