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

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In 1996, Alan Sokal published an essay in the hip intellectual magazine Social Text parodying the scientific but impenetrable lingo of contemporary theorists. Here, Sokal teams up with Jean Bricmont to expose the abuse of scientific concepts in the writings of today's most fashionable postmodern thinkers. From Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva to Luce Irigaray and Jean Baudrillard, the authors document the errors made by some postmodernists using science to bolster their arguments and theories. Witty and closely reasoned, Fashionable Nonsense dispels the notion that scientific theories are mere "narratives" or social constructions, and explored the abilities and the limits of science to describe the conditions of existence.

Title : Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0312204078
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 pages


Ahmad rated it ★★★★☆

August 30, 2017

Impostures Intellectuelles = Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science, c2003, Alan Sokal, Jean Bricmont Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science (French: Impostures Intellectuelles), published in the UK as Intellectual Impostures, is a book by physic...

Jimmy rated it ★★★★★

December 17, 2012

Assessing the usefulness or relevance of philosophy is a seemingly confounding endeavor. It becomes even trickier when approaching a specifically nuanced trend or style of philosophy. Since endless question-begging thought cycles are the genesis of any given philosophy, there is understandable di...

Eric_W rated it ★★★★☆

January 15, 2010

In 1996, Alan Sokal submitted an article to Social Text entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity." If that title means little to you, that's OK because the article was, in fact, nonsense. It was part of an elaborate hoax and parody that Sokal...

Hadrian rated it ★★★★☆

August 20, 2015

As I've only taken a few semesters of the 'hard sciences' at the university level, I have very little to add to this discussion on the use of science in philosophy. Although I enjoyed the ribbing of academic obscurantism, my impression of the original 'Sokal Affair', where he submitted a gibberis...

nostalgebraist rated it ★★★☆☆

March 04, 2015

This is a book that serves its modest purpose reasonably well, but after finishing it, I was left mostly wondering whether it was a purpose that needed to be served. First, a note on context -- this book was co-authored by Alan Sokal, the perpetrator of the (in)famous Sokal Hoax. I won't describe...

Lane rated it ★★★★☆

September 10, 2007

"We can clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying links or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multi-dimensional machinic catalysis. The symmetry of scale, the transversality, the pathic non-discursive character of their expan...

Dave rated it ★★★★☆

January 28, 2008

If you've ever had to read the postmodernist writings of Focault, Derrida, Lacan, or any of their innumerable disciples and come away with only the vaguest idea as to their meaning, you might want to read this book. But if like me, you regularly have to encounter postmodernism in the flesh and ju...

Mark rated it ★★★★★

January 31, 2015

I think it's crucial that respectable academics stop purveying semantically vacuous nonsense that egregiously expropriates terms that have precise scientific meanings, with demonstrably no understanding whatever of those meanings, for the purpose of furthering an atmosphere of moral equivalency f...

Owlseyes rated it ★★★★☆

March 10, 2018

Les grandes personnes sont decidement bien bizarres, se dit le petit prince. —Antoine de Saint Exupery, Le Petit Prince (Kristeva) (Baudrillard) (Lacan) (Iragaray) (Deleuze) (Virilio) In the Spanish edition I read: "La Filosofia francesa actual es una sarta de bobadas"*. Maybe. A non-sensical GIBBE...

Jafar rated it ★★★★☆

December 22, 2007

This book started off as a prank when Sokal sent an article to Social Text which was full of nonsense, but used pomo's vague and pompous style and confirmed some of their social/political beliefs. The editors, excited that a physicist has converted to their side, promptly published the article. O...

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