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More Details Original Title. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. This book is about postmodern relativism, pseudoscience, "alternative" medicine like homeopathy , and religion.
As one of my housemates pointed out to me, it's everything I hate, in one book! Which made me think. Indeed, everything that truly irritates me intellectually is linked, by a blatant, even belligerent, disregard for reality, rationalism, and empiricism. And that's what irritates Sokal, too. And people who say science is a limited white male way of thinking, which cannot properly evalua This book is about postmodern relativism, pseudoscience, "alternative" medicine like homeopathy , and religion.
And people who say science is a limited white male way of thinking, which cannot properly evaluate the efficacy of homeopathy or the truth claims of Christian doctrine - well, they're wrong, and they don't understand science. At all. Sokal does a good job of laying out this argument for science, in a careful way that is just as respectful as one should be.
That is, name-calling and denigration are not used, but no silly idea is spared skewering, even those claiming the "religion" exemption. It was interesting for me to learn that one of Sokal's main goals behind the hoax was to help left-wing goals. He wasn't particularly worried about postmodernism in academia - it's silly, and hurts the humanities, but wasn't actually threatening science.
But he does think that relativism and denigration of science hurts liberal goals, despite postmodernists generally being liberals themselves. After all, if there is no right way of knowing, and science is just one opinion among many - well, who's to say universal health care would help people? Or that there were ever actually slaves in the US?
Or that DDT should be banned? Everyone in the US - even the Amish - makes at least some use of the fruits of science. The vast majority of the people are perfectly happy to fly in jets and listen to their ipods, as long as they're not forced to face the implications of all that science. They pick and choose where to use science itself, keeping it away from whatever indefensible pet theories they have be it aliens or gods.
This isn't good. And Sokal explains why. View 2 comments. Me disculpo de antemano con quien lea este comentario y algunos otros. Y es que los ejemplos de Sokal a veces son para desternillarse de la risa. The first section, the original hoax plus commentary should be on every undergrad curriculum as a lesson in not taking anything without questioning. An uncompromising defense of thinking clearly. Very funny and important. Alan Sokal digs deeply and take stabs at how postmodernism tries to debase the authority of the natural sciences.
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Readers also enjoyed. Goodreads is hiring! If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you. Social Science. About Alan Sokal. Alan Sokal. He works in statistical mechanics and combinatorics.
To the general public he is best known for his criticism of postmodernism, resulting in the Sokal affair in Sokal received his B. He was advised by Arthur Wightman. In the summers of , Sokal taught mathematics at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, when the Sandinistas were heading the elected government.
In particular, he studies the interplay between these fields based on questions arising in statistical mechanics and quantum field theory. 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. His interests include computational physics and algorithms, such as Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for problems in statistical physics.
He also co-authored a book on quantum triviality. Sokal is best known to the general public for the Sokal Affair of Curious to see whether the then-non-peer-reviewed postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text published by Duke University Press would publish a submission which "flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions," Sokal submitted a grand-sounding but completely nonsensical paper entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.
He replied to leftist and postmodernist criticism of the deception by saying that his motivation had been to "defend the Left from a trendy segment of itself. Gross and Norman Levitt's book Higher Superstition, can be considered to be a part of the so-called Science wars.
Sokal followed up by co-authoring the book Impostures Intellectuelles with Jean Bricmont in published in English, a year later, as Fashionable Nonsense. The book accuses other academics of using scientific and mathematical terms incorrectly and criticizes proponents of the strong program for denying the value of truth.
The book 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. In , Sokal revisited the Sokal affair and its implications in Beyond the Hoax.
ISBN 13: 9788449305313
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