The Reception of the Sokal Affair in France—”Pomo” Hunting or Intellectual Mccarthyism?: A Propos of Impostures Intellectuelles by A. Sokal and J. Bricmont. Papers by Alan Sokal on the “Social Text Affair”; Sokal-Bricmont book . São Paulo, Jornal de Resenhas, 11 abril ); “Descomposturas intelectuais”, ” Imposturas e fantasias”, by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont (Folha de. Scribd is the world’s largest social reading and publishing site.

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Retrieved March 5, Sokal and Bricmont set out to show how those intellectuals have used concepts from the physical sciences and mathematics incorrectly.

This page was last edited on 27 Decemberat Perhaps he is genuine when he speaks of non-scientific subjects? But a philosopher who is caught equating the erectile organ to the square root of minus one has, for my money, blown his credentials when it comes to things that I don’t know anything about. Richard Dawkinsin a review of this book, said regarding the discussion of Lacan: One friend of mine told me that Sokal’s article came up in a meeting of a left reading group that he belongs to.

He then writes of his hope that in the future this work is pursued more seriously and with dignity at the level of the issues involved. Bruce Fink offers a critique in his book Lacan to the Letterwhere he accuses Sokal and Bricmont of demanding that “serious writing” do nothing other than “convey clear meanings”.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Their aim is “not to criticize the left, but to help defend it from a trendy segment of itself. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The discussion became polarized between impassioned supporters and equally impassioned opponents of Sokal [ London Review of Books.

The book gives a chapter to each of the above-mentioned authors, “the tip of the iceberg” of a group of intellectual practices that can be described as “mystification, deliberately obscure language, confused thinking and the misuse of scientific concepts.


Alan Sokal Jean Bricmont. According to some reports, the response within the humanities was “polarized. Noam Chomsky called the book “very important” and said that “a lot of the so-called ‘left’ criticism [of science] seems to be pure nonsense”.

From Archimedes to Gauss.

He suggests there are plenty of scientists who have pointed out the difficulty of attacking his response. Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science French: Number Theory for Computing 2nd ed. However, with regard to the second sense, which Plotnisky describes by stating that “all imaginary and complex numbers are, by definition, irrational,” [24] mathematicians agree with Sokal and Bricmont in not taking complex numbers as irrational.

The stated goal of the book is not to attack “philosophy, the humanities or the social sciences in general In Jacques Derrida ‘s response, “Sokal and Bricmont Aren’t Serious,” first published in Le MondeDerrida writes that the Sokal hoax is rather “sad,” not only because Alan Sokal’s name is now linked primarily to a hoaxnot to sciencebut also because the chance to reflect seriously on this issue has been ruined for a broad public forum that deserves better.

At Whom Are We Laughing? Retrieved 15 April Contemporary Cultural Theory 3rd ed.

Sokal and Bricmont highlight the rising tide of what they call cognitive relativismthe belief that there are no objective truths but only local beliefs. Archived from the original on May 12, Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science Cover of the first edition. This latter point has been disputed by Arkady Plotnitsky one of the authors mentioned by Sokal in his original hoax. Limiting her considerations to physics, science hystorian Mara Beller [14] maintained that it was not entirely fair to blame contemporary postmodern philosophers for drawing nonsensical conclusions from quantum physics which they did dosince many such conclusions were drawn by some of the leading quantum physicists themselves, such as Bohr or Heisenberg when they ventured into philosophy.


Sokal and Bricmont define abuse of mathematics and physics as:.

Imposturas Intelectuais, de Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont

The philosopher Inteleectuais 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. Cover of the first edition. Several scientists have expressed similar sentiments.

The extracts are intentionally rather long to sooal accusations of taking sentences out of context. Retrieved from ” https: Responses from the scientific community were more supportive. Postmodernism Philosophy of science.

Event occurs at 3: Sokal is best known for the Sokal Affairin which he submitted a deliberately absurd ibtelectuais [1] to Social Texta critical theory journal, and was able to get it published. The Knowable and the Unknowable. People have been bitterly divided.

Fashionable Nonsense – Wikipedia

University of Minnesota Press. University of Michigan Press. Lacan to the Letter. Probably no one concerned with postmodernism has remained unaware of it. Two Millennia of Zlan Some are delighted, some are enraged. They also suggest that, in criticising Irigaray, Sokal and Bricmont sometimes go beyond their area of expertise in the sciences and simply express a differing position on gender politics. Rather, they aim to draw attention to the abuse of inelectuais from mathematics and physics, subjects they’ve devoted their careers to studying and teaching.