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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He was trying to make a very serious point: Since endless question-begging thought cycles are the genesis of any given philosophy, there is understandable difficulty in posing additional ones that might trump the foundation of that given philosopher’s logic or reasoning. With that said, on to the book itself. It was so bad I felt gratitude for having come across Sokal. 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.

I don’t think that the doubts and complexities of actual science are fundamentally responsible for political and social damage. University of Michigan Press.

Postmodernism disrobed

Which is why he famously submitted an essay filled with jargon terms, popular ideas, and quotes from the right people, but comically nonsensical and scientifically childish, and of course it was accepted, printed and lauded. This includes work on the chromatic polynomial and the Tutte polynomial, which appear both in algebraic graph ninsense and in the study of phase transitions in statistical mechanics. As Sokal and Bricmont point out, even if the science the so-called thinkers cite were accurate most of the time it still has absolutely nothing to do with what they are actually trying pretending?

Sep 10, Lane Wilkinson rated it really liked it Recommends it for: But if like me, you regularly have to encounter postmodernism in the flesh and just don’t get it, this is a must-read.

But a philosopher who is caught equating the erectile organ to the square root of minus one has, for my money, blown his credentials when it comes to things that I don’t know anything about. These are, after all, academics that make a living out of composing texts full of “deep questions”, ones that typically aren’t steeped in methodologies that tend to provide reliable evidence or proof.


In the face of alah abysmal intellectual denial, scientific reason can only repeatedly make the claim that there are such things as facts, and that they are observable.

Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity. Even when those allusions are meant to be taken as metaphors they often make no sense. Archived from the original on May 12, It is a problem society should wrestle with. None of their criticisms are mere nitpicks, but many of them might sound like mere nitpicks to the uninitiated. Sokal and Bricmont claim that the errors made by these authors render their math-based arguments and judgments either wrong cashionable meaningless.

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

Dawkins Review of Intellectual Impostures

What a preposterously silly idea! Not only was the paper accepted by the journal, it was featured, and lauded by postmodern intellectuals. The two physicists are very much aware of the apologetic arguments that might keep philosophical hucksters theoretically safe, but the basic question of why one would bandy about a very technical and specific scientific nknsense to meet the ends of their philosophical means, remains inadequately answered.

If a reader is not convinced of the absurdity of the postmodern examples within the first two sentences of a quotation, they fazhionable so completely lack of the discriminating facility that another twenty pages will not do them any more good.

Well, the yootoober was right. Certain aspects of Fashionable Nonsense offer complications for the general reader uninitiated in technical physics, math, and science.

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

Though difficult to read, I do believe this fsahionable is important. Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science Cover of the first edition. I admit, Fasjionable 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.

Nonsrnse 10, Mark rated it it was amazing. Refresh and try again. His ‘definition’ of compactness is not just false: In it, the two run through the list of names, with fully researched analysis of writings illustrative of particular instances in which erroneous claims about science are made.


They gladly published the article, and then Ramachandran told them, Hahaha, that was just a joke! Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole.

However, as Sokal shows us, the latter is no longer true in all cases. Much like Edward O. If the impact of these intellectuals upon political issues, especially via their influence nonssense part of the Left, is well known cultural relativism, multiculturalism, political correctness etc. He takes Sokal and Bricmont to task for elevating a disagreement with Lacan’s choice of writing styles to an attack on his thought, which, in Fink’s assessment, they fail to understand.


The equivocation is blatant enough to be funny; though Sokal shows that we should temper our laughter. Click here for the link – https: 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.

In particular, how shall we know whether the modish French ‘philosophy’, whose disciples and exponents have all but taken over large sections of American academic life, is genuinely profound or the vacuous rhetoric of mountebanks and charlatans? The book was okay, but repetitive and way to many lengthy quotes. As a scientist, Sokal does not overstep his own areas of expertise, while showing that po-mo academics routinely overstep theirs.

Oct 09, Jimmy rated it it was amazing Shelves: This connects back to the fact that this book is composed largely of quotations: Their aim is “not to criticize the left, but to help defend it from a trendy segment of itself. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The editors got too excited that such a famous neuroscientist has discovered yet another minor detail about our nature to be the result of evolution and natural selection. Views Read Edit View history.

It would be nice to return to some semblance of reason and rhetoric in the Lit Crit field.