Fashionable Nonsense by Alan Sokal Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen R.C. Hicks Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer The Dictionary . INTRODUCTION. Fashionable Nonsense Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science. By ALAN SOKAL and JEAN BRICMONT Picador USA. So long as. Fashionable Nonsense. Alan Sokal, Author, Jean Bricmont, Joint Author Picador USA $23 (p) ISBN

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Witty and closely reasoned, Fashionable Nonsense dispels the notion that scientific theories are mere “narratives” or social constructions, and explored the abilities and the limits of science to describe the conditions of existence.

According to some reports, the response within the humanities was “polarized. As Michael Albert, wrote for Z Magazine, “There is nothing truthful, wise, human, or strategic about confusing hostility with injustice and oppression, which is leftist, with hostility to science and rationality, which is nonsense. Gross and Norman Levitt’s book Higher Superstition, can be considered to be a part of the so-called Science wars.

As an intellectual, Sokal probably found the writings of these particular philosophers to be nothing more than a lot of shallow, erudite poetics that, when analyzed on a grammatical and syntactical level, meant relatively little.

Fashionable Nonsense

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This includes work on the chromatic polynomial and the Tutte polynomial, which appear both in algebraic graph theory and in the study of phase transitions in statistical mechanics.

The extracts are intentionally rather long to avoid accusations of taking sentences out of context. So inSokal devised a devilishly clever intellectual prank: The shoddily edited Social Text — its editors perhaps so pleased to find themselves extensively fashiinable that they did not actually read the submission very carefully — betrayed all sense of academic rigor and standards Astonishingly no one seems to have lost their jobs or positions as a result of this case — academia, ain’t it great!


See, the whole point of cultural theorists “abusing” that sure is some strong language, sure glad it’s sworn to fxshionable and serve math and science is not to actually draw analogies, but to manifest the underlying absurdity of analogies, to create greater confusion and that unique feel of incomprehensibility. 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.

I have been saying this for some years. The philosopher Thomas Nagel has supported Sokal and Bricmont, describing their book as consisting largely of “extensive quotations of scientific gibberish from name-brand French intellectuals, together with eerily patient explanations of why it is gibberish,” [11] and agreeing that “there does seem to be something about the Parisian scene that is particularly hospitable to reckless verbosity.

Fashionable Nonsense : Alan Sokal :

The fashhionable had mixed reviews, with some lauding the effort, some more reserved, and others pointing out alleged inconsistencies and criticizing the authors for ignorance of the fields under attack and taking passages out of context. I do wonder what it’s like on the other side of the bridge; this book gives little insight into that question. Jul 27, Harry Doble rated it it was amazing Shelves: Want to Read saving….

In the quoted excerpts from the PoMos, it always turns out that they don’t understand the technical concepts that are using, or that the use of them is gratuitous, that the comparisons and analogies made between a math or science concept and something in literature tashionable sociology is fashionxble adequately justified.

We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. To ask other readers questions about Fashionable Nonsenseplease sign up.

Alan Sokal is known for having written a splendid parody known as the “Sokal Hoax”, a paper submitted and published in the journal “Social Text” which criticizes certain academic trends in literary criticism, philosophy, and sociology, slkal trends being largely influenced by certain French philosophers.


No doubt there exist thoughts so profound that most of us will not understand the language in which they are expressed. Looking for beautiful books?

Alan Sokal’s writings on science, philosophy and culture

Views Read Edit View history. In that case, Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont are in dire straits. The book accuses other academics of using scientific and mathematical terms incorrectly and criticizes fashionab,e of the strong program for denying the value of truth. Once caught, they refused to publish the subsequent paper in which Sokal explained the reason for his prank and how absurd the first article had been. I’m sick of the contempt for the sciences communicated by the humanities even after their posts dialogue with scientific language.

Neither complete or consistent due to the implications of Godel’s t I would have given it five-stars if not for all the semantically incoherent non-sequiturs quoted ad nauseum.

The chances are that you would produce something like the following: Instead, here are these assholes, and here’s the joke, fashhionable over them beyond the orbit of the moon. He was advised by Arthur Wightman. Considering foreign concepts is, of course, important, and the interplay between science, society, and social theories should be explored — but exploration skal considering, hypothesizing, using the available tools.

The potentialities of nonsense are a larger infinity than those of rationality, itself, as Sokal univentively connected, undermined within mathematics. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies.

Trivia About Fashionable Nonse We don’t really get that argument, but it is a fun idea.