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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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. From Archimedes to Gauss. 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.

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

Keeping strictly to the scientific claims and subsequent abuses of several famous po-mo academics, Sokal shows both that post-modernism has created a parody of intellectual rigor, and that the post-modern methodology is in danger of undermining the once proud study of arts and letters.

In particular, he studies the interplay between these fields based on questions arising in statistical mechanics and quantum field theory. They exhibit what the authors call “superficial erudition”, an obscure and technical verbiage laden form of writing that turns out to be either incoherent or trivial when unpacked. Sokal and Bricmont highlight the rising tide of what they call cognitive relativismthe belief that there are no objective truths but only local beliefs.

If one can symbolize the subject by this fundamental cut, in the same way one can show that a cut on a torus corresponds to the neurotic subject, and on a cross-cut surface to another sort of mental disease. The Best Books of For a long time I thought that Sokal’s famous hoax publication, plus this book, were intended to show that modern philosophers, particularly in France, are spouting nothing but nonsense.


I’ve certainly had this impression from the few pomo books and articles that I had the patience to go through.

Fashionable Nonsense : Alan Sokal :

We do have direct contact with the world. Jul 27, Harry Doble rated it it was amazing Shelves: Although this is an fasshionable book, it is not a very enjoyable one to read, for the simple fact that the authors felt compelled to quote at length from some of the most disfigured and meaningless jumbles of words that I have ever seen sewn together in the guise of sentences.

Sokal discusses Feyeraband and his anarchic views on scientific method in discourse on the plausibility of epistemic relativism. Most of the things that fasbionable pomo camp is trying to say, if you have the patience to go through their pretentious and convoluted writing, are quite ordinary and can be said much more simply.

So what I’m left with is a sense of a huge and unbridgeable gulf. His ‘definition’ of compactness is not just false: It does not mean stating unequivocally, especially if the statements are so inane and absurd that they must or at least should be dismissed as simply meaningless.

In it Sokal wrote, “I confess that I am an unabashed Old Leftist who never quite understood how deconstruction was supposed to help the working class. Noam Chomsky called the book “very important” and said that “a lot of the so-called ‘left’ criticism [of science] seems to be pure nonsense”.

Here, Sokal teams up with Jean Bricmont to expose the abuse of scientific concepts in the writings nonwense today’s most fashionable postmodern thinkers.

The editors, excited that a physicist has converted to their side, promptly published the article. It becomes even trickier when approaching a specifically nuanced trend or style of philosophy. Fashionable Nonsense – US. Some day, perhaps, the century will be Deleuzian.


What a preposterously silly idea! But that’s just me being post-postmodernism in seminal abrasiveness of the complacence of fashionable academia and all its derivatives e. And it is in this case nonsrnse the quoted authors really fall on their faces.

Refresh and try again. On Jacques Lacan, for example, whose name is revered by many in humanities departments throughout US and British universities, no doubt partly because he simulates a profound understanding of mathematics: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science Cover of the first edition.

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science

They go on to quote the following remarkable piece of reasoning by Lacan: Why some authors get this lenient treatment and others don’t is an interesting sociological question in itself. Postmodernism Philosophy of science. He works in statistical mechanics and combinatorics. The book gives a chapter to each of the above-mentioned authors, “the tip of the iceberg” of a group of intellectual practices that can be described as “mystification, deliberately obscure language, confused alaan and the misuse of scientific concepts.

So the reason people don’t object to these kinds of errors can’t just be a lack of math and physics education. It would be nice to return to some semblance of reason and rhetoric in the Lit Crit field.

Neitzsche also was mentally ill, and finally cracked or went insane at the end of his life. I have been saying this for some years.