Beyond The Hoax

Author: Alan Sokal
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191623342
Size: 47.86 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In 1996, Alan Sokal, a Professor of Physics at New York University, wrote a paper for the cultural-studies journal Social Text, entitled 'Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity'. It was reviewed, accepted and published. Sokal immediately confessed that the whole article was a hoax - a cunningly worded paper designed to expose and parody the style of extreme postmodernist criticism of science. The story became front-page news around the world and triggered fierce and wide-ranging controversy. Sokal is one of the most powerful voices in the continuing debate about the status of evidence-based knowledge. In Beyond the Hoax he turns his attention to a new set of targets - pseudo-science, religion, and misinformation in public life. 'Whether my targets are the postmodernists of the left, the fundamentalists of the right, or the muddle-headed of all political and apolitical stripes, the bottom line is that clear thinking, combined with a respect for evidence, are of the utmost importance to the survival of the human race in the twenty-first century.' The book also includes a hugely illuminating annotated text of the Hoax itself, and a reflection on the furore it provoked.

Postmodernism

Author: Glenn Ward
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Educational Division
ISBN: 9780340859704
Size: 42.25 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Postmodernism embodies the idea that there are no new ideas to be invented - everything is borrowed from previous times and we live in a post-modern age. This book is the essential introduction to postmodernism and offers an indispensible guide to this sometimes demanding terrain. It is aimed at readers encountering theories of postmodernism for the first time, and places the subject in a wide context. It will appeal to all those studying the subject academically and anyone with a desire to know more. Teach Yourself Postmoderism puts forward a number of ideas and debates which are both stimulating and worthwhile. Chapters are organised around broad themes and concerns rather than around individual ideologies, schools of thought or art-forms. This allows the reader to tailor the subject matter to their own interests and requirements.

Fashionable Nonsense

Author: Alan Sokal
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 1466862408
Size: 59.58 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in Social Text--an influential academic journal of cultural studies--touting the deep similarities between quantum gravitational theory and postmodern philosophy. Soon thereafter, the essay was revealed as a brilliant parody, a catalog of nonsense written in the cutting-edge but impenetrable lingo of postmodern theorists. The event sparked a furious debate in academic circles and made the headlines of newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. Now in Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science, Sokal and his fellow physicist Jean Bricmont expand from where the hoax left off. In a delightfully witty and clear voice, the two thoughtfully and thoroughly dismantle the pseudo-scientific writings of some of the most fashionable French and American intellectuals. More generally, they challenge the widespread notion that scientific theories are mere "narrations" or social constructions.

The New Philistines

Author: Sohrab Ahmari
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1785901591
Size: 10.50 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Contemporary art is obsessed with the politics of identity. Visit any contemporary gallery, museum or theatre, and chances are the art on offer will be principally concerned with race, gender, sexuality, power and privilege. The quest for truth, freedom and the sacred has been thrust aside to make room for identity politics. Mystery, individuality and beauty are out; radical feminism, racial grievance and queer theory are in. The result is a drearily predictable culture and the narrowing of the space for creative self-expression and honest criticism. Sohrab Ahmari's book is a passionate cri de coeur against this state of affairs. The New Philistines takes readers deep inside a cultural scene where all manner of ugly, inept art is celebrated so long as it toes the ideological line, and where the artistic glories of the Western world are revised and disfigured to fit the rigid doctrines of identity politics. The degree of politicisation means that art no longer performs its historical function, as a mirror and repository of the human spirit - something that should alarm not just art lovers but anyone who cares about the future of liberal civilisation.