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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Whereof one cannot speak, a truly wise man once suggested, thereof one should remain silent.

Henry Krips, Review of Intellectual Impostures – PhilPapers

The linguistic confusions that hung about the birth of chemistry — such as, what is a intellectuql simple substance? And even critics of Intellectual Impostures seem unprepared to defend the specific passages attacked, rather weakening general counter-accusations of a failure to understand the context or the use of metaphor and analogy.

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 impotures 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.

Perhaps we need to look at ourselves longer and more closely before embarking on a science of mankind. Alan Haworth – – Res Publica 5 1: How far can the social sciences achieve the same goals as the natural sciences? Hopefully not on whether the articles you print make any sense. The book was published in French inand in English in ; the English editions were revised for greater relevance to imposturds in the English-speaking world. Imposstures and Bricmont see this as allowing the rot exposed by the rest of the book to set in.

But he can inspire Sokal to write brilliant hoaxes that make us all cudgel the two halves of our brains. The stated goal of the book is not to attack “philosophy, the humanities or the social sciences in general Intellectuzl book shows that they are.

Though one might still have concerns about the lack of honesty and intellectual rigour they display.

But I did purchase a used book so The more philosophically interesting parts of the book are the sections on Kuhn and Feyerabend and those who have taken their work as proof of a radical Epistemic Relativism. John Sturrock Letters, 15 October intellecyual us a typically Post-Modern performance in his continued attempt to defend the barely defensible.


It was surprising to learn how renowned philosophers wrote sentences completely meaningless. Sign in to use this feature. The authors point out that this is manifest nonsense. Intellectual Impostures — Fashionable Nonsense in the United States — is a follow-up to a parody by Sokal of postmodern handling of science, published unwittingly by the journal Social Text.

Science Logic and Mathematics. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. They have limited their critique to those books that have ventured to invoke concepts from physics and mathematics.

Naturally there are also some who imposturess 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.

Le pauvre Sokal

The deliberately nonsensical poetry of the imaginary Malley has eventually come to be seen as a genuine achievement in Australian Modernism even if its intention was to rubbish that movement. And while I haven’t researched the topic in the same depth, I have noticed that similar abuses by some of these writers and their disciples extend to other natural sciences, notably biology and computer science.

Specialised scientific and mathematical concepts are simply scattered around in order to impress the reader with a superficial display of erudition.

This is the diametrical opposite of the way science operates. Sokal and Bricmont disclaim either the desire or the capability to evaluate the merits of these thinkers’ work more generally, impostuges they at least hint that a broader critique follows from their criticisms, and the debates over Intellectual Impostures seem to have revolved around this.

He, however, was being funny on purpose. Sturrock should hang his head in shame. This site uses cookies to recognize users and allow us to analyse site usage. Science, Philosophy and Culture Paperback.

Fashionable Nonsense (Intellectual Impostures) – Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont

I would like to have seen it more prominently placed and given fuller treatment, but I think Sokal and Bricmont would need to team up with someone from “the other camp” — a historian or sociologist of science, perhaps — to do any sort of decent job of this. 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.

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. The book will not intelllectual anything. For those who do not recall it: It might be argued that these concepts are imopstures as metaphors, or are to be understood as analogies, however the purpose of analogy ought to be to make things clearer, where here it serves only to obscure.


I am reminded of an air-raid warden in wartime Oxford who, when bright untellectual seemed to be defeating the spirit of the blackout, lmpostures us to wear dark glasses.

Fashionable Nonsense – Canada. Read more Read less.

The French, however, were the first to have the benefit of this book, which appeared there a year ago, before being translated into English by the authors themselves and published in the language community which they knew from the start had the greater need of it. Hughes Siena Sokal and Bricmont must have been very gratified to receive a review intellectuao so perfectly impostues their thesis and so amply justified their concerns. Gardners Books March 31, Language: There are more than two million known chemical compounds: They quote Chomsky on the frustrating experiences that he had when mingling earlier in the Nineties with the intelligent young in Egypt: 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.

They also present secondary sources — articles or books by others which perform exegesis or analysis of the very passages being analysed and which often reach new heights of confusion. Chapter four of Intellectual Impostures is a defence of science against epistemic relativism.

Perhaps simply aping the techniques of physics and chemistry is not a good way to proceed. It has set out from the lab with the aim of discrediting.

Alan Sokal + Jean Bricmont

When Intellectual Impostures was published in France, it sent shock waves through the Left Bank establishment. Sokal and Bricmont claim that they do not intend to analyze postmodernist thought in general. It is a depressing social phenomenon, but it also teaches us a lot about the role of prestige and authority in the judgement of some intellectual works.