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Alan Sokal

The equivocation is blatant enough to be funny; though Sokal shows that we should temper our laughter. Postmodern medicine that tastes good!

There are only so many ways to call a fraud a fraud, so many ways to point to a syntactic confusion of adjectives and say, ‘this is gibberish. But of course if everyone had this cast of mind, then these bricmpnt would not have the renown they do. One particular form of their pretentiousness is their ab use of scientific concepts and jargon in their writing.

I have read some criticism that Sokal and Bricmont’s approach is little more than quoting a block of text from these writers and offering a short remark with some footnotes, but for their purposes, this is fine. Feb 18, Justin rated it liked it.

Imposturas intelectuais – Alan D. Sokal, Jean Bricmont – Google Books

It is the chapter on Epistemic Relativism in the Philosophy of Science that is the true highlight for me. Some not all journals publishing philosophical articles do horrible peer review, if any at all. Trivia Ingelectuais Fashionable Nonse He even ended it with a little political rant that had nothing whatsoever to do with science.

He was advised by Arthur Wightman. This book is thus a pure delight for anyone fed up and annoyed by pompous and farcical ‘philosophers’ being, dangerously enough, taken seriously among some pedantic leftist circles.

A daring and controversial leader in the field of cultural studies. Even when those allusions are meant to be taken as metaphors they often make no sense. Oct 10, Mark rated it it was amazing. Although I enjoyed the ribbing of academic obscurantism, my impression of the original ‘Sokal Affair’, where he submitted a gibberish article to an academic journal, seems to be based on a case of sloppy peer-review, which is an ongoing issue.


He works in statistical mechanics and combinatorics. In fact, even the causes these philosophical stances are supposed to help feminism, gay rights, anti racism would be far better off without such imbecilities! Here, Sokal teams up with Jean Bricmont to expose the abuse of scientific concepts in the writings of today’s most fashionable postmodern thinkers.

In what way would or should that affect our theories of human psychology. 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.

The errors are substantial ones, to the point of being fatal: But to understand what this book is, you also have to understand what it is not. So inSokal devised a devilishly clever intellectual prank: The quotations they choose are, to someone with a mathematical background, self-undermining: 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.

Probably no one concerned with postmodernism has remained unaware of it. I do wonder what it’s like on the other side of the bridge; this book gives little insight into that question. Ils se moquent des scientifiques. The preface and introduction to my edition make this clear, and the care Sokal and Bricmont employ in defining terms and not overstepping their boundaries of expertise is commendable.

If philosophers hold up Lacan and Kristeva and some others for praise after they write such garbage, there is a big problem there.

Imposturas Intelectuais, de Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont

Contemporary Cultural Theory 3rd ed. Sokal received his B.

In particular, he studies the interplay between these fields based lmposturas questions arising in statistical mechanics and quantum field theory. The symmetry of scale, the transversality, the pathic non-discursive character of their expansion: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”. While Fink and Plotnitsky question Sokal and Bricmont’s right to say what definitions of scientific terms are correct, cultural intelectuaid and literary critics Andrew Milner and Jeff Browitt acknowledge that right, seeing it as “defend[ing] their disciplines against what they saw as a misappropriation of key terms and concepts” by writers such as Lacan and Irigaray.


Alan Sokal Jean Bricmont.

Aug 25, Yves rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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.

I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question — such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? I admit, I stopped reading when he started digging into Latour, a philosopher who has himself bridged the same gap, and sought to understand science in post-modern, intersubjective way, by moving from sociology of science through posthuman politics.

His interests include computational physics and algorithms, such as Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for problems in statistical physics. If I hold a belief that is beyond a reasonable doubtI should be willing to act on it, and for me a belief is not a belief until it is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Preview — Fashionable Nonsense by Alan Sokal. So it’s usually the soundness, logic, style, and originality of the philosopher’s body of work and thought that tends to be revered or questioned in the end.