You must remember this: in the journal Social Text published an essay by Alan Sokal called “Transgressing the boundaries: towards a. It’s time I introduced you to my hero: Alan Sokal. He wrote and submitted a spoof article, Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a. Biographical Information: The author is a Professor of Physics at New York University. He has lectured widely in Europe and Latin America, including at the.

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But sloppy sociology, like sloppy science, is useless, or even counterproductive. Derrida went on to fault him and coauthor Jean Bricmont for what he considered an act of intellectual bad faith in describing their follow-up book, Impostures intellectuelles UK: Gross and Norman Levitt claim that some humanities journals would publish anything as long as it had “the proper leftist thought” and quoted or was written by well-known leftist thinkers.

Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science. A Mathematician Reads Social Text.

Talk about bad science. American Journal of Sociology. Gross and Norman Levitt’s Higher Superstition: Sokal – – Philosophy and Literature 20 2: Talk about bad science We’ve been focusing on the negative for too long: Duke University Press, By flattering boundarise editors’ ideological preconceptions, he hoped his meaningless waffle might just get published.

Postmodernism and the Left. But its actual purpose was to show you could write a load of rubbish and fool the editors of Social Text into accepting it, if it was plausibly presented and used the modish vocabulary of social theorists.

Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity

Science Logic and Mathematics. A Rejoinder to Zembylas. Social Textas an academic journal, published the article not because it was faithful, true and accurate to its subject but because an ” academic authority ” had written it and because of the appearance of the obscure writing. Social Text’ s response revealed that none of the editors had suspected Sokal’s piece was a parody.


The Sokal affair

Added to PP index Total downloads 32, of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 20 22, of 2, How can I increase my downloads? Sociology of science, at its best, has done much to clarify these issues.

He wrote a book, attacking them, in French. Hilgartner argued that the intellectual impact of the successful Sokal ghe cannot be attributed to its quality as a “demonstration” but rather to journalistic hyperbole and the anti-intellectual biases of some American journalists. Boundariees collapsed expanded unthreaded. When he returned to America, the liberal left agenda seemed to have been hijacked by hip intellectuals and postmodernist literary theorists teaching that reality is a socially constructed text, about which you can say anything, as long as you say it murkily.

Sokal affair – Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Sham That Shook the Academy. In the same issue, Stolzenberg replied, arguing that their critique and allegations of misrepresentation were based on misreadings. Retired Northeastern University mathematician turned social scientist Gabriel Stolzenberg wrote essays meant to discredit the statements of Sokal and his allies, [26] arguing that they insufficiently grasped the philosophy they criticized, rendering their criticism meaningless.

The Ivory Tower of Babel: Sokal said the editors’ response illustrated the problem he highlighted. Editions Odile Jacob, Gross and Levitt had been vocal defenders of the scientific realist camp of the ” science wars “, opposing postmodernist academics who questioned scientific objectivity.


He called Sokal’s action sad triste for having overshadowed Sokal’s mathematical work and ruining the chance to carefully sort out controversies about scientific objectivity.

Massively annotated, and citing the work of dozens of eminent postmodern thinkers, its purpose was ostensibly to show how “postmodern science provides a powerful refutation of the authoritarianism and elitism inherent in traditional science”, and to expose the theories of traditional mathematics as capitalist, patriarchal, militaristic, and so on.

Transgessing would matter would be ideologic obsequiousness, fawning references to deconstructionist writers, and sufficient quantities of the appropriate jargon.

Beyond the Hoax by Alan Sokal

The article is a masterpiece of foggy prose. Resnik – – Perspectives on Science 8 3: Quantum Gravity in Philosophy of Physical Science categorize this paper. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Nonsense and Illusions of Thought. No keywords specified fix it. Only published works are available at libraries.

They apparently felt no need to analyze the quality of the evidence, the cogency of the arguments, or even the relevance of the arguments to the purported conclusion. Nick Jardine – unknown. Retrieved 1 March InCornell sociologist Robb Willer performed an experiment in which undergraduate students read Sokal’s paper and were told either that it was written by another student or that it was by a famous academic.