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Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science [Kindle Edition]

Paul R. Gross , Norman Levitt
4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (16 Kundenrezensionen)

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We should be thankful that Gross and Levitt have provided a wake-up call. Their significant overview of the thinking of those who teach our lawyers, journalists and teachers should be read by all who are concerned by the decline of the status of science in our times. Physics Today At last, somebody has performed the invaluable service of exploding the pretentions of those who think every equation derived this century undermines the fabric of western thought. New Statesman The authors' shredding of such luminaries of postmodernism and feminism as Stanley Aronowitz, Sandra Harding, and Evelyn fox Keller, among others, is not always charitable, [but] it is invariably compelling and frequently devastating. -- Elizabeth Fox-Genovese Washington Times


With the emergence of "cultural studies" and the blurring of once-clear academic boundaries, scholars are turning to subjects far outside their traditional disciplines and areas of expertise. In Higher Superstition scientists Paul Gross and Norman Levitt raise serious questions about the growing criticism of science by humanists and social scientists on the "academic left." This paperback edition of Higher Superstition includes a new afterword by the authors.


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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Deflating Postmodernism 20. März 2000
I am not into forcing people to read books, but if I were, this book would be near the top of my "must-read" books. Gross/Levitt's in-depth analysis of several of the current trends in sociological writing about science and the lamentable rise of pseudoscience (e.g., Afrocentrism, Difference Feminism) hits the nail on the head. They demonstrate very convincingly the handshake between the radical right and the left when it comes to fighting rationalism. Their final example of "upmanship" (pp. 243f) - the relationship between the Sciences and the Humanitities - is essentially correct, and the level of scientific knowledge among students of sociology, contemporary linguistics, or political science is deplorable. In my opinion this is because the "hard" sciences are exactly that - hard (although *nothing* can be harder than reading sense into a postmodernistic text). And when it comes to the "power" of "deconstructing" things and "demonstrating that science is just a social construct", this is simply wishful thinking.
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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Ein Kunde
This book is actually a must-read for those going into NON-science fields. I say this as a history major who must fend off the ultra-relativistic nonesense of post-modernism in (non-history) courses like speech communication. The bottom line is that, as the authors point out, post-modernism is hostile toward free inquiry and reason.
The only drawback about the book is that the authors use extraordinarily inflammatory language. In addition, they utilize obscure words that this reader had to look up in the dictionary (a first, I can assure you). I think the work could have been condensed for readability.
However, do not let the above point stop you from reading this book. Gradually, you will become used to the authors' writing style. You will even find some of their diatribes highly entertaining.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
This book raises several very interesting points about the current anti-scientific, anti-rational movement in some parts of academia and elsewhere.
The main point of the book is that, in order for one to dissect science, one must USE SCIENCE!
This singular truth is very often ignored by some science-illiterate in academia (and elsewhere) today as they try to foster their socio-political agendas.
The real danger (as the authors point out), is not in some social "science" faculty in (presumably) forward thinking schools fostering their antirational ideas upon students, but rather the overall harmful effect as these kinds of sloppy magical thinking permeate to the rest of society, and even become an acceptable norm (even more than now!).
Being educated used to mean something, whether one was educated in the arts or the sciences (for a time, they were one and the same).
But without the ability and the desire to examine the world in a logical, consistent (and dare we hope scientific) manner, "education" becomes worthless. If the sole job of the "liberal arts" faculty is to pass off opinion, heresay, conjecture and other forms of nonsense as the gospel truth, where does it lead? If one only teaches about the urgent need to fight for a particular political agenda, what is being done besides "brainwashing" the hapless student into becoming a soldier in some imagined war?
The authors present several pieces of advice to potential "social critics."
It is not enough to merely pass off cute metaphores and analogies in proving one's point - no matter how clever they are .
If one plans on examining some (perceived) critical problem (social, political economical, ecological etc..) also present POSSIBLE WORKABLE SOLUTIONS!
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen devastating rebuttal of scientific criticism 17. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Gross and Leavitt devastate the criticism of science originating in the academic humanities departments. The authors cover the transition of leftist radicalism over the last century from activist movements with a purpose: unionism, civil rights and environmentalism, to the pointless whining that now passes for scholarship at most humanities departments.They particularly focus on the attack of science from the post-modern deconstruction literary criticsm and feminist perspectives.
The authors rapier wit cut and scythe the demons of mysticism, fuzzy thinking and outright foolishness.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen This is an attack on smug, condescending ignorance 15. Januar 1998
Von gtra1n
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is an important book, clear and reasonable. It is not an attack on social science, as the previous review has misunderstood, but an attack on social scientist's attacks on science itself. Politics is politics, social science is social science, and (post) structuralism and deconstruction speak for themselves. And then, science is science. While no one would deny that science has it's societal context, the social sciences have claimed that there is no objective truth in science. They should speak for themselves, of course; while they have no claims to truth themselves [except, of course, when on the soap box over their own theories], neither can they claim that the results of pi are based social context, or that gravity effects different cultures differently. That is what this book is about. Following it came the Sokol controversy, out of which Steven Weinberg developed a pithy thought experiment that is simpatico with the aims of this book and focussed on those who feel that quantum theory gives license to rearrange all thought in the humanities; if we woke up tomorrow and found that science had discovered Newtonian principles apply to a layer of reality below that quantum level, would we then have to rethink how we see the world in our everyday thoughts and experiments?
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Well-written, effective;pedantic; too protective of science
I am going to have to agree, at least in part, with the reviewer who called this work a "sad, little book. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 23. Mai 2000 von S. A. Felton
2.0 von 5 Sternen A sad little book on a sad little topic
This COULD have been an intereting discussion of some of the serious in-roads that "postmodernist discourse" has had on the teaching of science in the United States. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 1. April 2000 von John Anderson
1.0 von 5 Sternen pedantic
I read this book because I am interested in the topic, but after awhile, I wasn't even sure what the topic of this book was. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 13. Dezember 1999 von Mark Wittle
5.0 von 5 Sternen Buy it. Read it.
To often, silence implies consent. Scientists have a tendency to ignore non-sense, perhaps believing that no rational person could be swayed and that the irrational people of the... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 29. Juli 1999 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Chilling.
If nothing else, this book is an excellent reminder that there are people out there, many of them highly educated and intelligent, who, faced with a conflict between their own... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 21. Juli 1999 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen In a hyped world of "important books," this really IS one.
"Higher Superstition" is a must read for anyone who has suffered through the lunatic whiney mamma's boys [of either gender]who pimp that French Marxist superstition... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 27. Mai 1999 veröffentlicht
3.0 von 5 Sternen excellent, but a bit too academic!
Higher Superstitions is a vital and important book considering the pelithera of garbage out there from both the Religious Right and "Academic Left. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 14. Juni 1998 von Barry Floyd
5.0 von 5 Sternen But why Is the Academic Left So Afraid of Science?
The New Leftists--unlike their Marxist predecessors--hate science. Biology, in particular, is its favorite target. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 4. Juni 1998 von psychephile
4.0 von 5 Sternen Thunder on the right
A wonderful polemic debunking some of the fashionable witterings that pass for serious thought in parts of academia. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 6. Mai 1998 von
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