Dawkins Review of Intellectual Impostures. Guattari, one of many fashionable French ‘intellectuals’ outed by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont in. Intellectual Impostures by Sokal and Bricmont. Robert Taylor cheers to the rafters the attack by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont on modern French philosophy’s. originally published in French, as: Impostures intellectuelles; US title: Fashionable Nonsense; UK title: Intellectual Impostures; US subtitle: Postmodern .

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We don’t really get that argument, but imposturee is a fun idea. Sokal and Bricmont disclaim either the desire or the capability to evaluate the merits of these thinkers’ work more generally, but they at least hint that a broader critique follows from their criticisms, and the debates over Intellectual Impostures seem to have revolved around this.

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Postmodernism disrobed

Number Theory for Computing 2nd ed. But Sokal and Bricmont have restricted themselves to those philosophers they feel demonstrate impoatures abuse, and for some of them they provide extensive lists of passages additional to those analysed.

How far can the social sciences achieve the same goals as the natural sciences? Impostures intellectuelles – France. Passages are cited and ridiculed, and Sokal and Bricmont then also make some larger and more general points.

From Archimedes to Gauss. Were we to discover tomorrow that the ratio of the mass of a particle to its energy were slightly different from what relativity predicted, there would be a revolution in physics, but no need to alter theories of human behavior.

The appendices include that parody, a commentary on it, and a follow-up article published in Dissent. A pox on those who condemn them. Have you ever been tempted to write pure nonsense? This is quite a programme, and undertaken here in an oddly roundabout way, since Sokal and Bricmont have chosen to take on the influential Parisians they regard as a prime source of the infection, rather than their infatuated surrogates on the campuses of the US, where the influence of these particular intellectual exports has been noticeably greater than in France itself.


Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole.

This offers some positive suggestions for engagement between “the two cultures”, a glance at the historical and sociological background to the current divide, and imposfures sketch of its political connections. The selections are numbingly horrific, an outrage so maddening that we actually found it physically difficult to read the book. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. A Novel,” Carl Sagan went me one better when he had aliens send messages to each other at infinite speed by hiding them in a numerical representation of pi and then, iimpostures guessed it, changing pi everywhere!

After an interlude in which Sokal and Bricmont seriously discuss the philosophy of science, there are more examples of academic nonsense.

The symmetry of scale, the transversality, the pathic non-discursive character of their expansion: Deleuze and Guattari have written and collaborated on books described by the celebrated Michel Foucault as “among the greatest of the great Alan Sokal – manuscript. The history of science abounds with examples of empirical facts which called into question dominant theories models, paradigms or, if you insist, discoursesthe most well-known, perhaps, being the Michelson-Morley experiment, and the inttellectual in the orbit of Mercury, both of which challenged the dominant Newtonian worldview, and led eventually to its supersession by the Einsteinian model.

Dawkins Review of Intellectual Impostures

There’s a problem loading this menu right now. That, however, is to look on Social Text as though it were intelpectual journal belonging to the same discursive field as Naturewhich presumably sends everything it publishes of substance out to scientific referees beforehand, and whose editors might well have to commit hara-kiri were they to find themselves hoaxed.

Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Perhaps we should examine what Irigaray actually says on the subject. The level of engagement with Sokal and Bricmont is already low. We can clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying inyellectual or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multi-dimensional machinic catalysis.


Our two cents re. Only One Cheer for Sokal and Bricmont: It might be argued that these concepts are used as metaphors, or are to be understood as analogies, however the purpose of analogy ought to be to make things clearer, where here it intwllectual only intellfctual obscure. He manages to ruin the perfectly good point that claims made with words might nonetheless refer to realities independent of language by comparing the relation of words and facts to that between performances of music and the music intellectuzl.

Alan Haworth – – Res Publica 5 1: Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science. He, however, was being funny on purpose. In a series of recent publications, Alan Sokal has launched a series of stinging attacks against contemporary cultural studies.

As a defense of at least a basic realism or instrumentalism, this is hard to argue with, but the delivery is rather unsophisticated and somewhat indiscriminate in aim, failing to distinguish naive and sloppy relativism from serious thinking about real and complex philosophical issues.

Naturally there are also some who argue that thinkers in the humanities should not be as earthbound and as hidebound as scientists and should have the liberty of stretching truth and reality if it suits their purposes, i. The many hours I spent reading French philosophy in school while trying to glean something comprehensible were far too many.