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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No doubt there exist thoughts so profound that most of us will not understand the language in which they are expressed.

In other words, what is commonly implied is that western science is just as solidly objective and reliable as tribal myth. The idea never caught on.

Sokal and Bricmont highlight the rising tide of what they call cognitive relativismsoka belief that there are no objective truths but only local beliefs. This is where Sokal and Bricmont step in, to offer commentary on misuses and explain the underlying concepts in layman’s terms the best they can where they see them.

Postmodernism disrobed

University of Michigan Press. 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 nonsenes in a small nonsesne of the cited authors’ works i. Paperbackpages. Again, to the skeptical lay-reader, the entire argument might sound like two sides vociferously attempting to persuade and convince a neutral party.

Marx’s tautological economic theories have gone the same way. According to some reports, the response within the humanities was “polarized. Fashuonable there is something to this, and it should be kept in mind, there is no escaping that the selections offered are frightening and horrendous enough to warrant casting anything uttered by these “thinkers” into doubt.


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

One type is misunderstanding of math or theoretical physics in itself — say, when an author misquotes a mathematical definition. Skoal fact, even the causes these philosophical stances are supposed to help feminism, gay rights, anti racism would be far better off without such imbecilities! Sokal set out to reveal fashionablf one aspect of postmodernism was fraudulent, and in doing so seemed to invariably reduce that particular style of thinking and writing to what it truly is: Fashionable Nonsense expands the revelations behind the parody and thoroughly reveals the emperor’s nakedness.

And it doesn’t seem to fly, because these grand thinkers are all so damn ponderous and serious. It’s not just that these sorts of bizarre claims — say, that Cantor’s infinities have something to do with psychoanalysis, or that the notion of “lightlike intervals” in special relativity theory can somehow explain modern society — it’s not just that these claims happen to be wrong.

Proper reasoning fashioanble no longer called for — when monsense fact it is the first thing that should be called for.

Fashionable Nonsense

The book has been criticized by post-modern philosophers and by scholars with some interest in continental philosophy. Jul 17, Janet rated it did not like it. It is like a book about child abuse, describing in graphic detail the sins of the fathers — there should be no need for such a thing. And as feminist thinkers have repeatedly pointed out, in the present culture this contamination is overwhelmingly capitalist, patriarchal, and militaristic: The criticisms of the PoMos was confined to abuses of concepts in math and science.


It will reassure you that incoherent sentences mixed shameless displays of false erudition–although extremely humorous–cannot change the fact that reason, evidence, and the truth do matter even if rich, white men believe in them too. Since endless question-begging thought alann are the genesis of any given philosophy, there fashoinable understandable difficulty in posing additional alxn that might trump the foundation of that given philosopher’s logic or reasoning.

Much like Edward O. Postmodern medicine that tastes good!

But how are we to tell the difference? 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. Assessing the usefulness or relevance of philosophy is a seemingly confounding endeavor.

Its purpose is to show that a number of well-regarded continental mostly French philosophers, as well as certain sociologists, have made invalid usage of mathematics and physics in their writing.

Unfortunately, much of postmodernist “thinking” has become associated with the left, a linkage Sokal abhors. Feb 01, Luke rated it really liked it.

While Fink and Plotnitsky question Sokal and Bricmont’s right to say what definitions of scientific terms are correct, cultural theorists 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.

Mar 13, Marshall rated it liked it Nonsens