Recently I received an email inquiring whether I am aware that an article published in the Winter 2003 issue of Common Knowledge was a hoax. The author of the email is a historian of the British intelligence services, and the supposed hoax concerns misinformation about an agent of MI6 around the time of World War II. My interlocutor finds it morally troubling that the misinformation deals to an extent with the Holocaust. In response, I wrote:

Thanks for your message about Colin Richmond's “In Memory of Virtue,” the title of which, I think, should answer the question you raise. The piece concerns virtue, which Richmond takes to have died during the Second World War. The piece does not importantly concern his “cousin Claude” and MI-6. Richmond is a unique figure, in my experience, among historians. He goes back and forth between, on the one hand, the strictest imaginable empiricism (see,...

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