9 Jul Dawkins Review of Intellectual Impostures. Guattari, one of many fashionable French ‘intellectuals’ outed by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont in. Buy Intellectual Impostures Main by Jean Bricmont, Alan Sokal (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on. Intellectual Impostures eBook: Jean Bricmont, Alan Sokal: : Kindle Store.

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Le pauvre Sokal

Nowhere will science, or its practitioners, qua scientists, find the answer to human problems. Obviously, the impowtures with this is that it allows status to the most obscurantist and unpalatable ideas — creation theory, eugenics, all must be allowed their stand. According to some reports, the response within the humanities was “polarized.

John Sturrock LRB16 July is quite right and his account of the delusions of poor Sokal and poor Bricmont gets to the heart of the matter. His review is a godsend to those who, unlike Sokal and Bricmont, really do have their knives out for theory.

Dawkins Review of Intellectual Impostures

How many historical journals would lntellectual for publication articles about events which had not occurred, or which referred to non-existent sources, or which consistently misapplied prevailing terminology or ideas?

Several scientists have expressed similar sentiments. As the book explains, the problem is that much of what these authors write is utterly meaningless. Roy Faibish London SW Retrieved 15 April In saying this, I am not contending that Derrida can either — much less that he can add significantly to the list of known compounds. The intellctual sceptical solution to this is to allow all systems of reasoning the same credibility — science is reduced to one narrative amongst many.


Hopefully not on whether the articles you print make any sense. Responses from the scientific community were more supportive. This site uses cookies to recognize users and allow us to analyse site usage.

John Sturrock LRB16 July is surely right to remind us that literary discourse, because it deals with the metaphorical, is itself subject to metaphorical exaggeration. Sokal and Bricmont set out to show how those intellectuals have used concepts from the physical sciences and mathematics incorrectly.

Obviously aware of the criticism they could expect from those quarters attacked in the book, they made sure their sources were pretty bomb proof.

Retrieved 25 June The result is that a lot of big name academics get bigger names while the rest of us are none the wiser. 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.

One friend of mine told me that Sokal’s article came up in a meeting of a left reading group that he belongs to.

Intellectual Impostures by Sokal and Bricmont | Issue 25 | Philosophy Now

inteellectual Although they make limited attempts to explain the background of scientific concepts, in the end the lay reader will have to either accept what they say or reject it.

In the old and valuable Structuralist terminology, Sokal and Bricmont want their science to be all langue and no paroleits theoretical purity guaranteed by never being exposed to the risks of expression. The book is aimed not so much at these individual writers but at the very tone of voice adopted by cultural and academic intellectuals over the last 25 years. The stated goal of the book is not to attack “philosophy, the humanities or the social sciences in general A writer on structuralism in the Times Literary Supplement has suggested that thoughts which are confused and tortuous by reason of their profundity are most appropriately expressed in prose that is deliberately unclear.


It is just as well for Sokal and Ijtellectual that they are scientists, because they are now shafted in the humanities job market. Sokal and Bricmont claim that they do not intend to analyze postmodernist thought in general. At any moment I expected Sturrock to mention Malley and the parallels between the two cases.

Postmodernism disrobed

Retrieved March 5, They go on to quote the following remarkable piece of ompostures by Lacan: However, while trying to bring out the similarity of science and everyday reasoning, the authors are strongly against the conflation of the everyday uses of words and specific technical senses.

The individual refutable proposition is the staple of philosophy and the reason that it ijpostures makes any progress: That would have added to the fizzle in their journal.

I could quote evidence of the beginnings of a whispering campaign against the virtues of clarity. Most of the authors they criticise have attempted to run off with theory before looking to see if they are on the right track. I think we should be told. If bad arguments are as good as good ones, why not let M stand for Tinkerbell and E stand for jouissance?