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 .

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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.

Point fingers and laugh: Retrieved 25 June The science aspect is of course easy to debunk, and thank god Sokal and Bricmont have done some of that work. Even if I didn’t happen to know anything about the mathematics of infinity, I imagine I would be confused if someone started telling me that it can help us understand the human subconscious; at the very least I would want an acknowledgement that this is an outlandish claim, and that it requires some legwork to get the reader “on board.

Most incomprehensible is how anyone could have ever taken these postmodernist authors seriously in the first place – how entire segments of the academic nlnsense could have so completely taken leave of their senses as to give even one of these imposters an academic post – let alone legions of them spanning several generations.

It would be one thing to simply get a definition wrong such errors can be produced by misprints, after allbut the way in which mathematical concepts are linked to topics like psychoanalysis or sociology by these authors is a very different and more bizarre sort of error. Proper reasoning is laan longer called for — when in fact it is the first thing that should be called for.

In Jacques Derrida ‘s response, “Sokal and Bricmont Aren’t Serious,” first published in Le MondeDerrida writes that the Sokal hoax is rather “sad,” not only because Alan Sokal’s name is now linked primarily to a hoaxnot to sciencebut also because the chance to reflect seriously on this issue has been ruined for a broad public forum that deserves better.

Even to those of us without Sokal’s scientific background, skoal 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 wokal refute anything.

Sokal could have been moderate, understandi I wanted to like this, I really did.


Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science

This page was last edited fsahionable 27 Decemberat Our two cents re. The blanket relativism that Sokal offers in his parody is an absurdity, and easily recognizable as such.

Cover of the first edition. Much of the debate is about relativism — the absolute truth of science versus modern theory’s insistence on relativism. It used to be quite fashionable, and fortunately it’s going out of fashion. For me it has a prancing, high-stepping quality, full of self-importance; elevated indeed, but in the balletic manner, and stopping from time to time in studied attitudes, as if awaiting an outburst of applause.

From Archimedes alah Gauss. His ‘definition’ of compactness akan not just false: The scholars, all I believe are tenured professors, hence why I am calling them scholars, are Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray This book shows up some of the postmodernists and poststructuralists misuse and abuse of mathematics and science especially physics.

But if like me, you regularly have to encounter postmodernism in the flesh and just don’t get it, this is a must-read. This is what this book means by postmodernism. Rather, they aim to draw attention to the abuse of concepts from mathematics and physics, subjects they’ve devoted their careers to studying nosnense teaching.

Fashionable Nonsense – Wikipedia

It must be something deeper: The book accuses other academics of using scientific and mathematical terms incorrectly and criticizes proponents of the strong program for denying the value of truth.

So what I’m left with is a sense of a huge and unbridgeable gulf. A writer on structuralism in the Times Literary Supplement has suggested that thoughts which are confused and tortuous by reason of their profundity are most appropriately expressed in prose that is deliberately unclear.

Or rather, if social scientists were still needed, their services would be required in a more poetic context, rather than one of research, or merely that of developing theories and methodologies for use in the field. The shoddily edited Social Text — its editors perhaps so pleased to find themselves extensively cited that they did not actually read the submission very carefully — betrayed all sense of academic rigor and standards Astonishingly faashionable one seems to have lost their jobs or positions as a result of this case — academia, ain’t it great!

Some critics do, however, have the gall to suggest that this is immaterial, that the ideas these great thinkers propound and propose are so significant that the use of false, misleading, and irrelevant evidence to support them is perfectly valid. But recently I saw a bit of a yootoobe video where some guy says that is not what Sokal was doing, and that Fashionavle himself said so. The prestigious journals do a good job, but there are some that will publish anything.


The original parody, included here, is a fairly fun read it can also be found online.

Please note that these ratings nonsebse represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

Neither complete or consistent due to the implications of Godel’s theorem.

File:Sokal Alan Bricmont Jean Fashionable – Monoskop

It’s a shame our money is spent so foolishly to support the production of postmodern and obscurantist crap. I could quote evidence of the beginnings of a whispering campaign against the virtues of clarity. Though difficult to read, I do believe this book is important. By making scientific claims from outside of the scientific method, post-modernists are coming across as the ivory-tower equivalents of Ann Coulter: Thus, by calculating that signification according to the algebraic method used here, namely: Ignoring the curing of small pox, man on the moon, Voyager to Saturn, computers, TVs, cell phones, planes, trains and automobiles.

Fashionable Nonsense – Canada. So the reason people don’t object to these kinds of errors can’t just be a lack of math and physics education. 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.

More sense is in these pages than most undergraduate arts degrees.

It seems fairly clear that the thinkers quoted use scientific terminology not for actual support though we are thinking that topology is fashionablw fun thing to apply to psychologybut because the abstract notion “science” lends their arguments credibility. Sokal and Bricmont claim that they do not intend to analyze postmodernist thought in general.

Hopefully I’ll find a copy of this book to go through, myself. None of their criticisms are mere nitpicks, but many of them might sound like mere nitpicks to the uninitiated. Retrieved 15 April More plausible is the argument that Sokal and Bricmont only show a few selective examples, that these may or may not be representative, and that they often only figure in a small part of the cited authors’ works i.