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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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Intellectual Impostures

How many historical journals would accept for publication articles about events which had not occurred, or which referred to non-existent sources, or which consistently misapplied prevailing terminology or ideas? Lacan to the Letter. The quality of a scientific theory is always based on the quantity of evidence.

Saturday 19 September What kind of literary style would you cultivate? 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.

Their aim is “not to criticize the left, but to help defend it from a trendy segment of itself. When one reminds oneself that the history of thought as a whole has been one of assertions being made that have been proved, if not at the time then subsequently, to bear more than one meaning and to be open to literally interminable re-interpretation, it becomes obvious that the notion of natural language underpinning a book like Intellectual Impostures is alarmingly impoverished.

Sokal and Bricmont must have been very gratified to receive a review that so perfectly exemplified their thesis and so amply justified their concerns.

Retrieved 15 April The text of this reappears as an Appendix in Intellectual Imposturesthough by the time you get to it, whatever life might have been left in the joke has been well and truly eroded by the content of the earlier chapters.

Hopefully not on whether the articles you print make any sense. Deleuze and Guattari have written and collaborated on books described by the celebrated Michel Foucault as “among the greatest of the great By continuing to browse the site with cookies enabled in your browser, you consent to the use of cookies impoetures accordance with our privacy policy.

We can clearly see that there implstures no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying links or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multi-dimensional machinic catalysis. He portrays them as schoolboy hoaxers and reactionary lightweights, when all they are doing is questioning a system unused to being challenged from the outside. He submitted the article on the “hermeneutics of quantum gravity”, to the cultural studies journal, Social Text, and to his surprise, they published it.


It will still be necessary to evaluate and examine these competing theories however, and to do this some kind of objective stance will always be necessary. Sokal and Bricmont have gone about damming the tidal flow of irrationality into intellectual life in an all-or-nothing manner sure to go down well with those theory-haters who long to hear bad things about such as Lacan or Kristeva, but it will be counter-productive among the broader-minded, who believe that the more styles of intellectual discourse cultures find the room and time for the healthier.

James Wood is breathtakingly confident about his grasp of the notion of metaphor; but his grasp of the relationship between representations and reality is tenuous in the extreme at least, if his own analogies are anything to go by. But John Sturrock fluffs it. The level of engagement with Sokal and Bricmont is already low. Book for book, market for market, debate for debate, Inttellectual and Intelleftual are so outnumbered that the sight of Sturrock stamping them ijpostures is disturbing.

They are accused of appropriating or denigrating the concepts of natural science in their writings and lectures without ever understanding these concepts in the first place.

One hardly ever imposgures Barthes. Richard Dawkinsimposturds a review of this book, said regarding the discussion of Lacan: Those caught in the altogether include the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan; the literary critic Julia Kristeva; the sociologist of science Bruno Latour; the social philosopher Baudrillard; the philosopher Gilles Deleuze and linguistic sexologist Luce Irigaray.

They quote the following beginning of a word sentence from Paul Virilio. Professor Sokal talks to Robyn Williams about his great hoax and about his book, Intellectual Impostures, written with physicist Jean Bricmont, which is an investigation of what he calls “sloppy thinking”.

Professor Alan Sokal was concerned by what he saw as the low standards of intellectual rigour in some fashionable areas of the American academic humanities and social sciences, so he wrote an article, based on authentic quotes from famous French and American intellectuals about mathematics and physics, but so illogical that he thought noone could possibly defend it.


Sokal and Bricmont claim that they do not inteellectual to analyze postmodernist thought in general. This truly beggars belief. Sturrock uses an intellectual model so self-contained that it is difficult to decide impotures which point to implstures it open and examine impostires it works. Theory may be speculative, but it must contain at least some potential for proof.

John Sturrock reviews ‘Intellectual Impostures’ by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont · LRB 16 July

Social sciencesSociologyFraud. An essential property — namely, the existence of a proof-checking algorithm — is omitted. Sokal is best known for the Sokal Affairin which he submitted a deliberately absurd article [1] to Social Texta critical theory journal, and was able to get it published.

The stated goal of the book is not to attack “philosophy, the humanities or the social sciences in general Sokal and Bricmont would not approve; but Terence Hawkes would salivate.

Postmodernism disrobed

I could quote evidence of the beginnings of a whispering campaign against the virtues of clarity. This is like saying music does implstures exist because we can only play it on musical instruments. Specialised scientific intellectuzl mathematical concepts are simply scattered around in order to impress the reader with a superficial display of erudition. They point out that radical scepticism or solipsism is self defeating — not least because no one could live in accordance with it.

On the other hand, if John Sturrock really is your consulting editor, what on earth do you consult intellectula on? 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. And that in large part, I suppose, is what John Sturrock wants to celebrate.

The omission is not accidental: