Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture

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9780199561834: Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture

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.

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About the Author:


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

From Publishers Weekly:

In 1996, NYU physicist Sokal published a paper entitled Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity in an academic journal. Shortly thereafter, and to great furor, Sokal reported that his paper was a parody of postmodernism. This collection of 10 essays, six of which have been previously published, expands upon the central ideas of that academic joke. Sokal demands a respect for evidence and attacks postmodernists, fundamentalists and the muddle-headed of all political and apolitical stripes. The opening chapter presents the original hoax paper in its entirety, with the addition of annotations describing how he came to write it and explaining all the inside jokes. In subsequent chapters, Sokal explains how postmodernists confuse truth with claims of truth, fact with assertions of fact, and knowledge with pretensions to knowledge, and demonstrates how pseudoscientists have adopted a similar perspective. In biting prose, he analyzes the concept of therapeutic touch being promoted in nursing and Vedic science being advanced by Hindu nationalists. Though he concludes with his weakest argument—that religion is simply another form of pseudoscience—Sokal consistently asks the reader to think clearly and follow the evidence, regardless of where it may lead, and for that alone he deserves respect. (May)
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Alan Sokal
Editore: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0199561834 ISBN 13: 9780199561834
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 immediately confessed 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, the fundamentalists 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 hugely illuminating annotated text of the Hoax itself, and a reflection on the furore it provoked. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780199561834

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Alan Sokal
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ISBN 10: 0199561834 ISBN 13: 9780199561834
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 immediately confessed 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, the fundamentalists 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 hugely illuminating annotated text of the Hoax itself, and a reflection on the furore it provoked. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780199561834

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, U.S.A. 2009-05-07, 2009. Condizione libro: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Codice libro della libreria NU-GRD-00553743

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 2010. Condizione libro: New. 2010. 1st Edition. Paperback. Alan Sokal, best-known for his role in the 'Sokal Hoax', here turns his attention to a new set of targets - pseudo-science, religion, and misinformation in public life. He argues 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. Num Pages: 488 pages, black & white tables, figures. BIC Classification: JFC; JFHX; PDA. Category: (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly. Dimension: 244 x 173 x 27. Weight in Grams: 840. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780199561834

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press. Condizione libro: New. 2010. 1st Edition. Paperback. Alan Sokal, best-known for his role in the 'Sokal Hoax', here turns his attention to a new set of targets - pseudo-science, religion, and misinformation in public life. He argues 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. Num Pages: 488 pages, black & white tables, figures. BIC Classification: JFC; JFHX; PDA. Category: (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly. Dimension: 244 x 173 x 27. Weight in Grams: 840. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780199561834

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