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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science (Taschenbuch)
Fashionable Nonsense grew out of the famous hoax in which Alan Sokal published a parody article in the American post-modern journal Social Text. The article was filled with non-sequiturs and nonsensical quotations about maths and physics by prominent French and American intellectuals, yet it was published unaltered. Sokal then revealed that it was a deliberate parody, to the great consternation of the editors of Social Text.
This book extends the investigation to show how intellectuals such as Lacan, Kristeva, Irigaray, Baudrillard, Deleuze and Guattari have repeatedly abused scientific concepts and terminology. They have either used these ideas completely out of context without justification or they have thrown scientific jargon around with no regard for its meaning or relevance, obviously to try to impress their readers.
The introduction provides the history of the Sokal Hoax and the response to it. The major part of the book consists of an analysis of various texts by Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, Bruno Latour, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and Paul Virilio. Brief explanations of the relevant scientific concepts plus references to popular and explanatory texts are provided. Sokal and Bricmont also investigate certain philosophical and scientific confusions behind much of postmodernist thinking, like cognitive relativism, certain misunderstandings concerning chaos theory plus so-called postmodern science.
Appendix A provides the full text of the famous hoax article: Trangressing The Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity. Appendix B consists of comments on the parody and Appendix C serves as an afterword on the hilarious incident. This amusing and illuminating book concludes with a 14-page bibliography and an index. Intellectual Impostures is an amusing read that will have you rolling on the floor at times. I also highly recommend The Illusions Of Postmodernism by Terry Eagleton, The Anti Chomsky reader by David Horowitz and Peter Collier, and Intellectual Morons : How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas by Daniel J. Flynn.
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