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by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont IMPOSTURAS INTELECTUALES .. tamos asombrados e inquietos por la evolución intelectual que han ex-. Wiki for Collaborative Studies of Arts, Media and Humanities. Scribd is the world’s largest social reading and publishing site.

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Sokal submitted this essay to a prestigious American cultural studies journal by the name of Social Text. From Archimedes to Gauss.

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science

By making scientific claims from outside of the scientific method, post-modernists are coming across as the ivory-tower equivalents of Ann Coulter: I think that actually understanding the concepts one uses to break down the convention of analogy is interesting. This makes all debate or criticism meaningless, and any attempt to do so can be classified as bullying, as it doesn’t respect other people’s realities.

The book has a lot of such examples from various prominent pomo thinkers. Brjcmont he is genuine when he speaks of non-scientific subjects? Bricmong would have given it five-stars if not for all the semantically incoherent non-sequiturs quoted ad nauseum.

Keely marked it as to-read Shelves: It was completely relevant to my interests. Number Theory for Computing 2nd ed. There is a reason that science and the humanities are administered by different departments in almost every university.

Alan Sokal

Admittedly, he can be dry and Gallically smug, but Latour understands how science does and does not work, and how applying it to itself engages a worlds-enclosing-worlds-that-enclose-them dynamic that non-Euclidean mathematics has probably also gotten around to, no conceptual misuse imposhuras necessary.

This crisis is not so much a ‘dumbing-down’ of the humanities, but, rather, that the humanities are in danger of losing credibility. Hence nonsensical verbiage, demonstrating that such philosophies are nothing more than ‘mystification, deliberately obscure language, confused thinking, and the misuse of scientific concepts’, the authors dismiss them for what they are: Two Millennia of Mathematics: Or rather, if social scientists were still needed, their services would be required in a more poetic context, rather than one of research, or merely that of developing theories and methodologies for use in the field.


Deconstruction, Aporia and Logocentrism make intelecthais. We do have direct contact with the world. Another intellectual, whose texts are under scrutiny, is Paul Virilio.

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.

Richard Dawkins said it best in one of his essays in A Devil’s Chaplin. For example, he wrote about the Gulf War as follows: A major portion of the book is given over to reproductions of original ‘postmodernist’ sources that ramble for pages on end, with trifling comments by the authors on how the different scientific concepts have been misinterpre Although this is an important 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.

The concept of an intellectual institution without a place for and vigorous exploration of nonsense horrifies me, as does Sokal’s highly unscientific failure to self-examine.

One friend of mine told me that Sokal’s article came up in a meeting of a left reading group that he belongs to. If Sokal is correct, the shibboleths ‘hermeneutics’, ‘Lacanian’ and ‘desituationism’ are sufficient for advanced degrees from premier universities, and this has lead to a crisis. And this diversity is very important as it explains many things about the structure of mental disease.


Retrieved 15 April And I’m a stodgy old scientist who believes, naively, that there exists an external world, that there exist objective truths about that world, and that my job is to discover some of them.

Return to Book Page. Feb 18, Justin rated it liked it. There is also another, much more significant way in which this book feels like it’s preaching to the choir. The following comments are based on notes I took while reading the book. 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 language to meet the ends of their philosophical means, remains inadequately answered.

The story of the origin of this book is a playful one: Certain aspects of Fashionable Nonsense offer complications imposturaz the general reader uninitiated in technical physics, math, and science. Some not all philosophers sprinkle their texts with allusions to scientific or mathematical concepts that they do not appear to understand, and do not seem to care that they don’t understand. Ils se moquent des scientifiques.

File:Sokal Alan Bricmont Jean Imposturas – Monoskop

Views Read Edit View history. In what way would or should that affect our theories of human psychology. Analysing the texts of some of these ‘thinkers’ that they intelectusis at large and gosh!