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eBook Intellectual Impostures ePub

by Alan Sokal,Jean Bricmont

  • ISBN: 1861976313
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Subcategory: Politics
  • Author: Alan Sokal,Jean Bricmont
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gardners Books (March 31, 2003)
  • Pages: 304
  • ePub book: 1536 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1303 kb
  • Other: txt azw lit mobi
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 584

Description

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

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science (French: Impostures intellectuelles), published in the UK as Intellectual Impostures, is a book by physicists Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont. Sokal is best known for the Sokal affair, in which he submitted a deliberately absurd article to Social Text, a critical theory journal, and was able to get it published.

Intellectual Impostures. Although Sokal and Bricmont focus on the abuse and misrepresentation of science by a dozen French intellectuals, their book broaches a much larger topic - the uneasy place of science and the understanding of scientific rationality in contemporary culture.

Sokal and Bricmont conclude that all this inanity is a threat In Intellectual Impostures, Sokal goes after inflated pseudo-jargon that happens to be employed by leftist academics. He does so admirably, in part because he is specific.

Sokal and Bricmont conclude that all this inanity is a threat. That either it will lead to even more irrationalism in academia or to an academic abandonment of social critique. And I think it's worth warning us to avoid such a future. In Intellectual Impostures, Sokal goes after inflated pseudo-jargon that happens to be employed by leftist academics. Whether outraged or amused, he never taints his argument by resorting to hyperbole or bluster.

Intellectual Impostures, Profile Books ISBN 1 8. Sokal and Bricmont draw out the many contortions and falsifications of mathematical concepts made by Kristeva in the course of her article. It should be read by all those who have an interest in modern ideological trends, in particular, the various somewhat nebulous schools of thought included under the hybrid term postmodernism.

Intellectual Impostures by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont Profile: 1998. Some day, perhaps, the century will be Deleuzian. Pp. 274. £. 9 To be published in the USA by Picador as Fashionable Nonsense in November 1998. Suppose you are an intellectual impostor with nothing to say, but with strong ambitions to succeed in academic life, collect a coterie of reverent disciples and have students around the world anoint your pages with respectful yellow highlighter.

is a book by physicists Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont.

Intellectual Impostures). by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont. It is worse than books debunking psychic phenomena and the like because whereas psychics address the common man, the thinkers attacked here write in prose (?) that deliberately obscures any thought that might be behind it. Title: Fashionable Nonsense. Authors: Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont. Genre: Literary Criticism.

ark:/13960/t8z92vw4g. by Jean Bricmont, Alan Sokal. Books related to Intellectual Impostures.

When Intellectual Impostures was published in France, it sent shock waves through the Left Bank establishment  . Intellectual Impostures.

When Intellectual Impostures was published in France, it sent shock waves through the Left Bank establishment. When it was published in Britain, it provoked vicious debate. Sokal and Bricmont examine the canon of French postmodernists - Lacan, Kristeva, Baudrillard, Irigaray, Latour, Virilio, Deleuze and Guattari - and systematically expose their abuse of science.

Comments

Gann Gann
The many hours I spent reading French philosophy in school while trying to glean something comprehensible were far too many. This book reinforced my earlier convictions that the writing was verbose and just plain terrible. I should add that it wasn't lost in translation. The fact that they still use French philosophy in Universities is unnerving to say the least. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to 'deprogram' the post-modern out of someone they know and love.
FEISKO FEISKO
Anyone who has had the misfortune to purchase a book that is an offense to reason, or to have to listen to a talk full of pretense and pseudo-scientific subterfuge; anyone who is rightly scornful of woolly thinking, half-baked ideas and downright intellectual dishonesty backed up by specious reasoning, will delight in this expose by its two authors. They systematically take apart and pulverize the work of many perpetrators of the art of literary and pseudo-academic deception, exposing its dishonesty and impure motives. The authors do a great job as exposers of falsehood and upholders of objective truth.

This book is recommended reading for those whose grasp of objectivity is weak or faltering, or who wish to find champions of an approach to reality that is, to man's great peril, increasingly ignored today - an approach which relies on facts, not on fantasy; on painstaking research and meticulous reasoning, not on mere subjectivity and a plunge into an abyss of subjective fantasy and madness.
Asher Asher
I find the book extremely interesting and well written, and the subject is very relevant. It was surprising to learn how renowned philosophers wrote sentences completely meaningless. It is a depressing social phenomenon, but it also teaches us a lot about the role of prestige and authority in the judgement of some intellectual works.
Pad Pad
The book was great. It was a little old and gave me allergies although I attempted to air it out and put it in the microwave to try to kill some of the microorganisms. But I did purchase a used book so...
Barinirm Barinirm
Thank you!
Felolak Felolak
Have you ever been tempted to write pure nonsense? Maybe on some rainy first day of April? I once felt like writing:

"I sure made a mistake when I told the Goddess Minerva that She couldn't square the circle. In response, She drew a circle next to me, a truly beautiful and perfect circle. And right in front of my panicky brown eyes, She turned pi into four! Not just the circumference divided by the diameter, but the series expansion as an inverse tangent as well. What would She do next, make me unwell by dropping the first letter from my first name? i tried to apologize, but it was too late."

I was not the only one to dream of mangling pi. In "Contact: A Novel," Carl Sagan went me one better when he had aliens send messages to each other at infinite speed by hiding them in a numerical representation of pi and then, you guessed it, changing pi everywhere!

Still, Alan Sokal went beyond even this, getting the following published in the journal "Social Text:"

"In this way the infinite-dimensional invariance group erodes the distinction between the observer and the observed; the pi of Euclid and the G of Newton, formerly thought to be constant and universal, are now perceived in their ineluctable historicity; and the putative observer becomes fatally decentered, disconnected from any epistemic link to a spacetime point that can no longer be defined by geometry alone."

Sokal put this and many more whoppers into his hoax, which defended an equally absurd thesis: that "physical 'reality,' no less than social 'reality,' is at bottom a social and linguistic construct."

While this joke may not prove much, it does raise the issue of whether a few people in academia are misusing the vocabulary of science to create absurd statements in defense of an antirationalist point of view. This book shows that they are.

The authors show that Jacques Lacan makes completely arbitrary analogies between topology and psychoanalysis. We then see some of the same irrelevance and superficial use of topology in the early works of Julia Kristeva. After an interlude in which Sokal and Bricmont seriously discuss the philosophy of science, there are more examples of academic nonsense. The next victim is Luce Irigaray, who in what I agree is about as ridiculously antifeminist a statement as one could make says:

"Science always displays certain choices, certain exclusions, and these are particularly determined by the sex of the scholars involved."

That's rich: objective truth is different depending on whether one is a Woman or a man! I must admit that I half expected Irigaray to say that pi was different for Men and women.

After that, we see Bruno Latour's idea that Einstein's Theory of Relativity has implications for sociology. The authors point out that this is manifest nonsense. Were we to discover tomorrow that the ratio of the mass of a particle to its energy were slightly different from what relativity predicted, there would be a revolution in physics, but no need to alter theories of human behavior.

Later, we see Jean Baudrillard say, "It is a sign that the space of the event has become a hyperspace with multiple refractivity, and that the space of war has become definitively non-Euclidean." And there are more, um, words, from Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Paul Virilio.

Sokal and Bricmont conclude that all this inanity is a threat. That either it will lead to even more irrationalism in academia or to an academic abandonment of social critique. And I think it's worth warning us to avoid such a future. But I also think we simply need social journals to get scientists to review (and reject) papers that use big scientific words instead of making coherent statements.