Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science / Edition 1

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science / Edition 1

by Alan D. Sokal, Jean Bricmont
     
 

ISBN-10: 0312195451

ISBN-13: 9780312195458

Pub. Date: 12/01/1998

Publisher: Picador USA

In spring 1996, a highly respected American cultural-studies journal, Social Text, published an article with the strange title "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity." Its author, Alan Sokal, supported his ideas by extensive quotations form prominent French and American thinkers. Shortly thereafter, Sokal revealed

Overview

In spring 1996, a highly respected American cultural-studies journal, Social Text, published an article with the strange title "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity." Its author, Alan Sokal, supported his ideas by extensive quotations form prominent French and American thinkers. Shortly thereafter, Sokal revealed that the article was a parody. His goal was to attack, by means of satire, the widespread misuse of scientific terminology and the promiscuous extrapolation of ideas from the natural to the social sciences. More generally, his aim was to denounce postmodern relativism, which holds that truth is a mere social convention. Sokal's hoax unleashed an animated debate in intellectual circles around the world.

In Fashionable Nonsense, Sokal teams up with Belgian physicist Jean Bricmont to assemble and analyze a series of texts illustrating the physico-mathematical mystifications perpetuated by Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, Bruno Latour, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Paul Vivilio. They show that, behind an imposing jargon and an apparent scientific erudition, the emperor is naked.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312195458
Publisher:
Picador USA
Publication date:
12/01/1998
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.58(h) x 1.08(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the English Edition ix
1. Introduction
1(17)
2. Jacques Lacan
18(20)
3. Julia Kristeva
38(12)
4. Intermezzo: Epistemic Relativism in the Philosophy of Science
50(56)
5. Luce Irigaray
106(18)
6. Bruno Latour
124(10)
7. Intermezzo: Chaos Theory and "Postmodern Science"
134(13)
8. Jean Baudrillard
147(7)
9. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
154(15)
10. Paul Virilio
169(7)
11. Godel's Theorem and Set Theory: Some Examples of Abuse
176(6)
12. Epilogue
182(30)
A. Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity
212(47)
B. Some Comments on the Parody
259(9)
C. Transgressing the Boundaries: An Afterword
268(13)
Bibliography 281(16)
Index 297

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