Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture

Paperback | March 11, 2010

byAlan Sokal

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In 1996, Alan Sokal, a Professor of Physics at New York University, wrote a paper for the cultural-studies journal Social Text, entitled 'Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity'. It was reviewed, accepted and published. Sokal immediatelyconfessed that the whole article was a hoax - a cunningly worded paper designed to expose and parody the style of extreme postmodernist criticism of science. The story became front-page news around the world and triggered fierce and wide-ranging controversy. Sokal is one of the most powerful voices in the continuing debate about the status of evidence-based knowledge. In Beyond the Hoax he turns his attention to a new set of targets - pseudo-science, religion, and misinformation in public life. 'Whether my targets are the postmodernists of the left, thefundamentalists of the right, or the muddle-headed of all political and apolitical stripes, the bottom line is that clear thinking, combined with a respect for evidence, are of the utmost importance to the survival of the human race in the twenty-first century.' The book also includes a hugelyilluminating annotated text of the Hoax itself, and a reflection on the furore it provoked.

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In 1996, Alan Sokal, a Professor of Physics at New York University, wrote a paper for the cultural-studies journal Social Text, entitled 'Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity'. It was reviewed, accepted and published. Sokal immediatelyconfessed that the whole article was a hoax - a cunn...

Alan Sokal is Professor of Physics at New York University and Professor of Mathematics at University College, London. His main research interests are in statistical mechanics and quantum field theory. Among non-physicists, Sokal is probably best known for his famous parody of postmodern science criticism, known as the 'Sokal Hoax', wh...

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Paperback|Dec 15 1999

$20.20 online$28.00list price(save 27%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:488 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.04 inPublished:March 11, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199561834

ISBN - 13:9780199561834

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Table of Contents

Part I: The Social Text Affair1. Transgressing the boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity [annotated version]2. Transgressing the boundaries: An afterword3. Truth, reason, objectivity, and the Left4. Science studies: Less than meets the eye5. What the Social Text affair does and does not provePart II: Science and Philosophy6. Cognitive relativism in the philosophy of science7. Defense of a modest scientific realismPart III: Science and Culture8. Pseudoscience and postmodernism: Antagonists or fellow-travelers?9. Religion, politics and survival10. Epilogue: Epistemology and ethicsIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Most scientists will be highly appreciative of and deeply fascinated by what Sokal has to say in this remarkable book." --Chemistry World 01/08/2008