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Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture

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Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Famed for his 1996 hoax that parodied the extreme postmodernist criticism of science, Alan Sokal here exposes many other examples of charlatanism, deflating the postmodernists of the left, the fundamentalists of the right, and the muddle-headed of all political and apolitical stripes. Sokal does revisit his infamous hoax--the original article is included in the book, with new explanatory footnotes--to illuminate issues that are with us even more pressingly today. But the book ranges far beyond this one famous case, to reveal for instance how conservative politicians and industry executives are happily manipulating the vaporous tenets of postmodernism to obscure the scientific consensus on global warming, biological evolution, second-hand smoke, and a host of other issues. Written with rare lucidity, a lively wit, and a keen appreciation of the real-world consequences of sloppy thinking, Beyond the Hoax offers an engaging argument for the vital importance of evidence-based science, showing that clear thinking, combined with a respect for evidence, are of the utmost importance to the survival of the human race.

About the Author

Alan Sokal is Professor of Physics at New York University and Professor of Mathematics at University College, London.

Table of Contents

Part I: The Social Text Affair

1. Transgressing the boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity [annotated version]

2. Transgressing the boundaries: An afterword

3. Truth, reason, objectivity, and the Left

4. Science studies: Less than meets the eye

5. What the Social Text affair does and does not prove

Part II: Science and Philosophy

6. Cognitive relativism in the philosophy of science

7. Defense of a modest scientific realism

Part III: Science and Culture

8. Pseudoscience and postmodernism: Antagonists or fellow-travelers?

9. Religion, politics and survival

10. Epilogue: Epistemology and ethics

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199561834
Author:
Sokal, Alan
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Alan
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
General
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Philosophy | Science
Subject:
Science Reference-Philosophy of Science
Publication Date:
20100331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
488
Dimensions:
6.6 x 9.6 x 1.1 in 1.85 lb

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