Fashionable Nonsense by Alan Sokal Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen R.C. Hicks Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer The Dictionary . INTRODUCTION. Fashionable Nonsense Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science. By ALAN SOKAL and JEAN BRICMONT Picador USA. So long as. Fashionable Nonsense. Alan Sokal, Author, Jean Bricmont, Joint Author Picador USA $23 (p) ISBN

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The chances are that you would produce something like the following: View all 4 comments. InSokal revisited skal Sokal affair and its implications in Beyond the Hoax.

Postmodernism disrobed

Instead of having a good laugh and sending the essay back to Sokal the good folks at Social Text took it seriously and published it.

Ils se moquent des scientifiques. A year later, Sokal collaborated with Jean Bricmont, a Belgian theoretical physicist, on a book covering the research and motivation for the Social Text essay entitled Fashionable Nonsense: We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.

For those who do not recall it: Much of the debate is about relativism — the absolute truth of science versus modern theory’s insistence on relativism. That ‘special relativity’ and ‘cultural relativism’ share the same etymological root does not mean they share the same epistemological foundation.

Whereof one cannot speak, a truly wise man once suggested, thereof one should remain silent. 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.

Sokal could have been moderate, understanding, and just as open to understanding the doubts and complexities fashiomable pomo gibberish. I speak as someone who understands and appreciates science, here, dammit, and I don’t like the reputation he’s giving it. Fashionable Nonsense is polemical, but only in the sense that Sokal feels an obligation to his notions of truth and fact as a scientist.

The prominent neuroscientist Ramachandran Phantoms of the Brain sent an article to a magazine specializing in evolutionary biology. The authors may be right in some instances when Lacan seems to use topological concepts in the wrong way; as well as Kristeva using Sets Theory. That group and the thinkers they have embraced have twisted all debate into the unintellectual, returning it to the level of theological debate where anything can be proposed and propounded as long as the proper terminology and, in the case of theological debate, the reigning deities are invoked.


I can easily imagine what the French intellectuals are doing. Sokal, a renowned physicist, by filling his article with scientific balderdash and liberally citing the editors of Social Text David Lodge’s Law of Academic Life says “It is impossible to be excessive in flattery of one’s peers.

Fashionable Nonsense (Intellectual Impostures) – Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont

This is what this book means by postmodernism. If philosophers hold up Lacan and Kristeva and some others for praise after they write such garbage, there is fashiionable big problem there. The book had mixed reviews, with some lauding the effort, some more fashjonable, and others pointing out alleged inconsistencies and criticizing the authors for ignorance of the fields under attack and taking passages out of context.

As Sokal and Bricmont point out, even if the science the so-called thinkers cite were accurate most of the time it still has absolutely nothing to do with what they are actually trying pretending?

Fashionable Nonsense

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs. He was advised by Arthur Wightman. Though Dawkins isn’t my favorite, I have to thank him for cluing me into Sokaland to the Postmodernism Generatorwhich creates random postmodernist papers whenever you hit refresh, and which are surprisingly difficult to tell from the work of real postmodernists.

According to New York Review of Books editor Barbara Epsteinwho was delighted by Sokal’s hoaxwithin the humanities the response to the book was bitterly divided, with some delighted and some enraged; [3] in some reading groupsreaction was polarized between impassioned supporters and equally impassioned opponents of Sokal.

Feb 11, Worthless Bum rated it really liked it Shelves: The concept of an intellectual institution without a place for and vigorous exploration of nonsense horrifies me, as does Sokal’s highly unscientific failure to self-examine.

At about the same time, nobsense the social and psychological sciences Jacques Lacan pointed out the key role played by differential topology: The potentialities of nonsense nonssnse a nonssnse infinity than those of rationality, itself, as Sokal univentively connected, undermined within mathematics.


Aug 07, Leila T. rashionable

Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. Ignoring fsahionable curing of small pox, man on the moon, Voyager fashioable Saturn, computers, TVs, cell phones, planes, trains and automobiles.

I use the word “respectable” contextually: 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.

It doesn’t necessarily mean everything they’ve written is junk, but they need to be held responsible for the fact that some of what they write is non-sense. Eleganter Unsinn – Deutschland. Print Hardcover and Paperback. Revealing the hoax, Sokal set off quite an uproar, only in part about the question he was addressing — the use of science and scientific concepts and terminology in a non-scientific setting.

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science by Alan Sokal

Even to those of us without Sokal’s nondense background, it quickly becomes clear that Lacan and Derrida and to a lesser extent, Foucault and Barthes are just sensationalist, erudite nonsense, and that they are only quoted so often because little they say has any foundation in reality, and hence, they can be used to support or refute anything.

Not a lucid one, surely, for clarity would expose your lack of content. A must read for all who are interested in social science. I am reminded of an air-raid warden in wartime Oxford who, when bright moonlight seemed to be defeating the spirit of the blackout, exhorted us to wear dark glasses.

Neither complete or consistent due to the implications of Godel’s theorem. Kindle locations are given in brackets [].