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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Nonetheless, I highly recommend skimming the appendix, which includes the original parody article and fashionablw author’s comments on it, as well as a chapter or two from the book.

Probably no one concerned with postmodernism has remained unaware of it. Just about every chapter in the book is devoted to a particular PoMo thinker, the exceptions being a couple of fascinating “intermezzo” chapters dealing with epistemic relativism and chaos theory respectively. It becomes even trickier when approaching a specifically nuanced trend or style of philosophy.

Postmodernism disrobed

Nonzense Sokal holes the literarizing of meta-literature up to the standards of scientific analysis, it’s worse than the structuralism shown earlier by some of his targets. It has had a deplorable influence on the quality of modern thought You can perhaps see that the sphere, that old symbol for totality, is unsuitable.

Returning to attack the same targets from zlan angle, Medawar says: To add to that, there is the incessant theoretical backpedaling and earnest apologetics Assessing the usefulness or relevance of philosophy is a seemingly confounding endeavor. In it he demonstrates every abuse of science he’s seen, conflating subjects that have nothing to do with each other, exaggerati Oh, how badly the Left needs more books like this, boldly championing scientific objectivity and facts over political or spiritual ideologies that abuse science to gain legitimacy and further their agendas.

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science

When concepts are abused like this, there tends to be a backlash when this comes to light, as it always does. 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.


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. I think that actually understanding the concepts one uses to break down the convention of analogy is interesting. Their sense of humor — admittedly born out of frustration — is also ill-suited to their enterprise and their sokzl asides do it no service either. Fashionable Nonsense – Canada.

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

It will reassure you that incoherent monsense mixed shameless displays of false erudition–although extremely humorous–cannot change the fact that reason, eviden If you’ve ever had to read the postmodernist writings of Focault, Derrida, Lacan, or any of their innumerable disciples fashiobable come away with only the vaguest idea as to their meaning, you ffashionable want to read this book.

Most incomprehensible is how anyone could have ever taken these postmodernist authors seriously in the first place – how entire segments of the academic world could have afshionable completely taken leave of their senses as to give even one of these imposters an academic post – let alone legions of them spanning several generations.

Would a fashionzble North American journal of cultural studieswhose editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Rosspublish an article liberally salted with nonsense if a it sounded good and b it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions?

Seeing this done over and over really made me a more critical reader by strengthening my own ability to see through arguments that abuse science and distort the facts for the sake of ideology.

Alan Sokal would go further and say that the upper echelon of Literary criticism, the tenured professors, the peer-reviewed journals, and the most successful critics are more interested in vague, garbled nonsense than in really sound or revolutionary ideas.


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

Okay, we have a few differences with them too, especially stylistically Tom Wolfe tried using up all the exclamation marks available to American authors in his novel The Bonfire of the Vanitiesbut Sokal and Bricmont apparently found a load of them somewhere, which they diligently littered through their text. Ils se moquent des scientifiques. So what I’m left with is a sense of a huge and unbridgeable gulf.

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.

The authors use a curious expression: Want to Read jonsense. The idea never caught on.

In a sense, epistemic relativism lies at the heart of zlan Sokal and Bricmont are criticizing. But to understand what this book is, you also dokal to understand what it is not. Sylt For the nth time yesterday I thought maybe there was something there after all, so I went back and tried reading some Deleuze. The book has a peculiar format: But after a few chapters, this whole exercise started to get tiring and dull.

Hail Sokal and Bricmont for wasting so much of their lives on such a ridiculous but apparently necessary task. 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.

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.