Here's a query:
Let's suppose that there's a really idiotic position that has risen to prominence in a certain interdisciplinary area of research to which philosophers, among others, are regular contributors. Let's say that the idiotic position is most commonly held among the non-philosophers working within the interdisciplinary area. So, one dutiful philosopher I know has taken up the cause of exposing this idiotic position, and he has written a definitive refutation of the idiotic position.
But there's a problem: his paper keeps getting rejected at the main journals in this interdisciplinary area. And reviews that accompany the rejection are indisputably idiotic; in fact, the reviews most often confirm the criticisms the author makes of the idiotic position. So, he keeps revising in ways designed to respond to the idiotic criticisms contained in the most recent rejection he has received.
Now there's a different problem: some of the criticisms he anticipates and deals with are so absurd as to strike any non-idiot reviewing the piece as cooked-up and irrelevant. But, as I said, the criticisms anticipated in the most recent version come directly from actual referees' reports rejecting prior versions of the paper. So, the question: May the author indicate in the current version of the paper that the criticisms he's anticipating and disposing of come from actual reviewers of previous versions of the essay? Can he say something like, "A reviewer of an earlier version of the paper recommended rejection on the grounds that my view entails.... But this is mistaken..."? Thoughts?