A New York Times op ed by Rebecca Harrington on the Harvard cheating affair quotes William James, one of the founders of psychology as a discipline. In a letter to the editor of the Harvard Crimson in 1888 about the treatment by a faculty committee of his proposal to address cheating, James wrote:
The impression this episode gave me of the debilitated tone of social responsibility here was startling. By social responsibility I mean the willingness to act for the social ideal, no matter how much obstructive individuals have to suffer. In this sort of civic courage our race has led history; and why it should be so lacking here I do not know….
This disquieting standard deserves a place in our continuing debate about what we do and stand for.