The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook the Academy

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9780803279957: The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook the Academy

In May 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in the fashionable academic journal Social Text. The essay quoted hip theorists like Jacques Lacan, Donna Haraway, and Gilles Deleuze. The prose was thick with the jargon of poststructuralism. And the point the essay tried to make was counterintuitive: gravity, Sokal argued, was a fiction that society had agreed upon, and science needed to be liberated from its ideological blinders.

When Sokal revealed in the pages of Lingua Franca that he had written the article as a parody, the story hit the front page of the New York Times. It set off a national debate still raging today: Are scholars in the humanities trapped in a jargon-ridden Wonderland? Are scientists deluded in thinking their work is objective? Are literature professors suffering from science envy? Was Sokal's joke funny? Was the Enlightenment such a bad thing after all? And isn't it a little bit true that the meaning of gravity is contingent upon your cultural perspective?

Collected here for the first time are Sokal's original essay on "quantum gravity," his essay revealing the hoax, the newspaper articles that broke the story, and the angry op-eds, letters, and e-mail exchanges sparked by the hoax from intellectuals across the country, including Stanley Fish, George F. Will, Michael Bérubé, and Katha Pollitt. Also included are extended essays in which a wide range of scholars ponder the long-term lessons of the hoax.

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Review:

In 1995, a New York University physicist named Alan Sokal, frustrated by what he considered the misuse of science by academic philosophers and literary critics, decided to play a meaningful prank. After studying the arcane jargon of postmodernism, he cooked up a superficially au courant but patently ill-founded paper called "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" and submitted it to the journal Social Text, edited by a collective of academic celebrities. Wooed by the article's apparent endorsement of their approach and evidently unschooled in basic science, the editors accepted and published the paper.

The Sokal Hoax gathers Sokal's paper; the Social Text editors' arch, wounded reply when it was revealed, in the pages of the academic journal Lingua Franca, that the paper was a transparent scam; and a selection of journalistic accounts, letters to the editor, and accusations and counteraccusations surrounding what came to be called "the Sokal hoax." Some of these documents are thoughtful, addressing ways in which it might be possible to bridge the wide gap between the sciences and the humanities. Many, however, are defensive and polemical, almost embarrassing to read. They compound Sokal's charge that faddishness has overcome common sense in the halls of academe, and that the postmodern emperor has no clothes.

In its modest way, the collection is an entertainment, serving as an anthology of ivy-covered silliness. More seriously, it adds depth to Sokal's collaboration with physicist Jean Bricmont, Fashionable Nonsense, and other books about the hoax and its implications, which continue to excite discussion. --Gregory McNamee

Review:

"Readers who struggle through Sokal's essay will be relieved to find the rest of the book lucid, readable, and positively stimulating."--Kirkus Review

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Descripción University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In May 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in the fashionable academic journal Social Text. The essay quoted hip theorists like Jacques Lacan, Donna Haraway, and Gilles Deleuze. The prose was thick with the jargon of poststructuralism. And the point the essay tried to make was counterintuitive: gravity, Sokal argued, was a fiction that society had agreed upon, and science needed to be liberated from its ideological blinders. When Sokal revealed in the pages of Lingua Franca that he had written the article as a parody, the story hit the front page of the New York Times. It set off a national debate still raging today: Are scholars in the humanities trapped in a jargon-ridden Wonderland? Are scientists deluded in thinking their work is objective? Are literature professors suffering from science envy? Was Sokal s joke funny? Was the Enlightenment such a bad thing after all? And isn t it a little bit true that the meaning of gravity is contingent upon your cultural perspective?Collected here for the first time are Sokal s original essay on quantum gravity, his essay revealing the hoax, the newspaper articles that broke the story, and the angry op-eds, letters, and e-mail exchanges sparked by the hoax from intellectuals across the country, including Stanley Fish, George F. Will, Michael Berube, and Katha Pollitt. Also included are extended essays in which a wide range of scholars ponder the long-term lessons of the hoax. Nº de ref. de la librería AAJ9780803279957

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Descripción University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In May 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in the fashionable academic journal Social Text. The essay quoted hip theorists like Jacques Lacan, Donna Haraway, and Gilles Deleuze. The prose was thick with the jargon of poststructuralism. And the point the essay tried to make was counterintuitive: gravity, Sokal argued, was a fiction that society had agreed upon, and science needed to be liberated from its ideological blinders. When Sokal revealed in the pages of Lingua Franca that he had written the article as a parody, the story hit the front page of the New York Times. It set off a national debate still raging today: Are scholars in the humanities trapped in a jargon-ridden Wonderland? Are scientists deluded in thinking their work is objective? Are literature professors suffering from science envy? Was Sokal s joke funny? Was the Enlightenment such a bad thing after all? And isn t it a little bit true that the meaning of gravity is contingent upon your cultural perspective?Collected here for the first time are Sokal s original essay on quantum gravity, his essay revealing the hoax, the newspaper articles that broke the story, and the angry op-eds, letters, and e-mail exchanges sparked by the hoax from intellectuals across the country, including Stanley Fish, George F. Will, Michael Berube, and Katha Pollitt. Also included are extended essays in which a wide range of scholars ponder the long-term lessons of the hoax. Nº de ref. de la librería AAJ9780803279957

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Descripción University of Nebraska Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook the Academy, Lingua Franca, John Brenkman, Elizabeth Lloyd, David Albert, In May 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in the fashionable academic journal Social Text. The essay quoted hip theorists like Jacques Lacan, Donna Haraway, and Gilles Deleuze. The prose was thick with the jargon of poststructuralism. And the point the essay tried to make was counterintuitive: gravity, Sokal argued, was a fiction that society had agreed upon, and science needed to be liberated from its ideological blinders. When Sokal revealed in the pages of Lingua Franca that he had written the article as a parody, the story hit the front page of the New York Times. It set off a national debate still raging today: Are scholars in the humanities trapped in a jargon-ridden Wonderland? Are scientists deluded in thinking their work is objective? Are literature professors suffering from science envy? Was Sokal's joke funny? Was the Enlightenment such a bad thing after all? And isn't it a little bit true that the meaning of gravity is contingent upon your cultural perspective? Collected here for the first time are Sokal's original essay on "quantum gravity," his essay revealing the hoax, the newspaper articles that broke the story, and the angry op-eds, letters, and e-mail exchanges sparked by the hoax from intellectuals across the country, including Stanley Fish, George F. Will, Michael Berube, and Katha Pollitt. Also included are extended essays in which a wide range of scholars ponder the long-term lessons of the hoax. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780803279957

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