Sokal, Alan. Fashionable nonsense: postmodern intellectuals’ abuse of science. / Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and. INTRODUCTION. Fashionable Nonsense Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science. By ALAN SOKAL and JEAN BRICMONT Picador USA. So long as. Fashionable Nonsense by Alan Sokal Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen R.C. Hicks Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer The Dictionary .

Author: Tokazahn Kele
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Marketing
Published (Last): 27 April 2007
Pages: 481
PDF File Size: 17.20 Mb
ePub File Size: 20.92 Mb
ISBN: 552-8-13937-893-6
Downloads: 73086
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Akill

The blanket relativism that Sokal offers in his parody is an absurdity, and easily recognizable as such.

Such reading, beyond its denunciation of ignorant and incompetent nonsense, serves on the contrary as a warning against that so called ‘postmodern Zeitgeist’, a dangerous and irresponsible way of thinking in a world prey to obscurantism, fanaticism and superstition. Stemming from the like of Lacan, Deleuze, Kristeva, Baudrillard, Irigaray, Latour, Virilio and co to name just the ones targeted here there One will never be grateful enough to Sokal and Bricmont for pointing fingers towards a naked emperor.

Second, functions depend not just on numbers; they are really relations of variables with the numbers occurring in them as constants that do not vary. Considering foreign concepts fasionable, of course, important, and the interplay between science, society, and social theories should be explored — but exploration means considering, hypothesizing, using the available tools.

Fashionable Nonsense

Stemming from the like of Lacan, Deleuze, Kristeva, Baudrillard, Irigaray, Latour, Virilio and co to name just the ones targeted here there is indeed a vague intellectual Zeitgeist corrupting a whole part of modern societies, one based on subjectivism, relativism and, all in all, a reject of the rationalism of the Enlightenment that needed to be addressed. Not only was the paper accepted by the journal, it was featured, and lauded by postmodern intellectuals.

There is fashiobable point at which ahistoricism and structuralism are willing to accept any method, any idea, any theory, and clasp it close, independent of whether it has any nonsenwe. The idea never caught on.

This includes work on the chromatic polynomial and the Tutte polynomial, which appear both in algebraic graph theory and in the study of phase transitions in statistical mechanics. For a long time I thought that Sokal’s famous hoax publication, plus this book, were intended to show that modern philosophers, particularly in France, are spouting nothing but nonsense. He was trying to make a very serious point: As Michael Albert, wrote for Z Magazine, “There is nothing truthful, wise, human, or strategic about confusing hostility with injustice and oppression, which is leftist, with hostility to science and rationality, which is nonsense.

They’re so focused on equality and tolerance that they sometimes ignore the hard facts, twist those facts to suit their agendas, or even go so far as to claim that there is no such thing as objective reality or facts at all.


Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity which he describes as “a parody article crammed with nonsensical, but unfortunately authentic, quotations about physics and mathematics by prominent French and American intellectuals. However, this book does have a tendency to over-quote, which he said he does because he doesn’t want to be accused of taking things out of context. What a preposterously silly idea! The discussion became polarized between impassioned supporters and equally impassioned opponents of Sokal [ The philosopher Thomas Nagel has supported Sokal and Bricmont, describing their book as consisting largely of “extensive quotations of scientific gibberish from name-brand French intellectuals, together with eerily patient explanations of why it is gibberish,” [11] and agreeing that “there does seem to be something about the Parisian scene that is particularly hospitable to reckless verbosity.

The book was okay, but repetitive and way to many lengthy quotes. Books by Alan Sokal. There is a point at which ahistoricism and structuralism are willing to accept any method, any Why is it that whenever a theory of social science is found to be flawed, and loses the respect of the scientific community, it manages to find new success as a branch of literary criticism?

No statement about the real world can ever literally be proven ; but to use the eminently appropriate expression from Anglo-Saxon law, it can sometimes be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Common-sense would dictate that physicists are not in the habit of somal courses on Shakespeare, and English professors are not in the habit of nonsebse quantum mechanics.

In it he demonstrates every abuse of science he’s seen, conflating subjects that have nothing to do with each other, exaggerati Oh, how badly the Left needs more books like this, boldly championing scientific objectivity and facts over political or spiritual ideologies that abuse science to gain legitimacy and further their agendas.

Postmodernism disrobed

I think that actually understanding the concepts one aalan to break down the convention of analogy is interesting. Jul 17, Assessing the usefulness or relevance of philosophy is a seemingly confounding endeavor.

Have you read a work of Shakespeare’s? These are, after all, academics that make a living out of composing texts full of “deep questions”, ones that typically aren’t steeped in methodologies that tend to provide reliable evidence or proof. For the rest, we leave it to the reader to judge. Richard Dawkinsin a review of this fxshionable, said regarding the discussion of Lacan: It is a bizarre debate that has evolved around this, and in fact the critical response is almost as nonwense as the book itself.

It is the chapter on Epistemic Relativism in the Philosophy of Science that is the true highlight for me.

Related Posts   CD4047 DATASHEET PDF

Sokal and Bricmont main arguments against those French intellectuals are 1 on their Les grandes personnes sont decidement bien bizarres, se dit le petit prince. Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science Cover of the first edition. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had. Les grandes personnes sont decidement bien bizarres, se dit le petit prince.

Jan 28, Dave Brick rated it really liked it. An important book, it is nevertheless almost unreadable — mainly because of the absurd passages cited extensively by Sokal and Bricmont. Freud’s theories are by this point laughable, and yet they persist as viable modes of literary analysis. The prestigious journals do a good job, but there are some that will publish anything. The reason this is complicated is because said apologetics typically entail claims that the philosopher in question was being misread, misunderstood, or read or understood in the incorrect context.

Sokal could have been moderate, understanding, and just as open to understanding the doubts and complexities of pomo gibberish. Categorizing these trends and philosophies under the regrettably vague moniker “postmodernism” a term whose vagueness owes itself in no small part to the tendency for obscurity, inconsistency, a Alan Sokal is known for having written a splendid parody known as the “Sokal Hoax”, a paper submitted and published in the journal “Social Text” which criticizes certain academic trends in literary criticism, philosophy, and sociology, such trends being largely influenced by certain French philosophers.

Dawkins Review of Intellectual Impostures

To the general public he is best known for his criticism of postmodernism, resulting in the Sokal affair in That ‘special relativity’ and ‘cultural relativism’ share the same etymological root does not mean they share the same epistemological foundation. Although this is an important book, it is not a very enjoyable one to read, for the simple fact that the authors felt compelled to quote at length from some of the most disfigured and meaningless jumbles of words that I have ever seen sewn together in the guise of sentences.

The selections are numbingly horrific, an outrage so maddening that we actually found it physically difficult to read the book. Sokal’s was the only article written by a scientist, and he called it “Transgressing the Boundaries: Postmodern medicine that tastes good!