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In Fashionable Nonsense, Alan Sokal, the author of the hoax, and Jean Bricmont contend that abuse of science is rampant in postmodernist circles, both in the form of inaccurate and pretentious invocation of scientific and mathematical terminology and in the more insidious form of epistemic relativism. When Sokal and Bricmont expose Jacques Lacan's ignorant misuse of topology, or Julia Kristeva's of set theory, or Luce Irigaray's of fluid mechanics, or Jean Baudrillard's of non-Euclidean geometry, they are on safe ground; it is all too clear that these virtuosi are babbling.
Their discussion of epistemic relativism--roughly, the idea that scientific and mathematical theories are mere "narrations" or social constructions--is less convincing, however, in part because epistemic relativism is not as intrinsically silly as, say, Regis Debray's maunderings about Gödel, and in part because the authors' own grasp of the philosophy of science frequently verges on the naive. Nevertheless, Sokal and Bricmont are to be commended for their spirited resistance to postmodernity's failure to appreciate science for what it is. --Glenn Branch
This must be the biggest hoax in years, when in 1994 Alan Sokal submitted his paper to a Social Science journal and was accepted. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Otavio H. Thiemann
I got this book expecting to read a refutation of Deleuze's use of calculus in "Difference and Repetition", but the authors do not present such. Read morePublished 5 months ago by anonymous
Sokal, who wrote the indispensable Beyond The Hoax, teams up with Jean Bricmont to turn the evidence-based approach (formerly known as empiricism, which is still a valid name) like... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Wirklich Verrukt
I think it's crucial that respectable academics stop purveying semantically vacuous nonsense that egregiously expropriates terms that have precise scientific meanings, with... Read morePublished 10 months ago by video meliora proboque
The only bad thing I can say about this book is that the authors are frustratingly nice and collected in the face of utter stupidity. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Brandon
Great exposure. That one of the authors was a Contra collaborator makes his overall good judgement questionable. Great book, though. It was entertaining.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Quite funny, however I found it difficult to read. He does do a good job of explaining some VERY complex ideas.Published 13 months ago by Paul