What kind of literary style would you cultivate? Not a lucid one, surely, for clarity would expose your lack of content. The chances are that you would produce something like the following: We can clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying links or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multi-dimensional machinic catalysis. The symmetry of scale, the transversality, the pathic non-discursive character of their expansion: all these dimensions remove us from the logic of the excluded middle and reinforce us in our dismissal of the ontological binarism we criticised previously. For me it has a prancing, high-stepping quality, full of self-importance; elevated indeed, but in the balletic manner, and stopping from time to time in studied attitudes, as if awaiting an outburst of applause.
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What kind of literary style would you cultivate? Not a lucid one, surely, for clarity would expose your lack of content. The chances are that you would produce something like the following: We can clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying links or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multi-dimensional machinic catalysis.
The symmetry of scale, the transversality, the pathic non-discursive character of their expansion: all these dimensions remove us from the logic of the excluded middle and reinforce us in our dismissal of the ontological binarism we criticised previously. In the second place, singularities possess a process of auto-unification, always mobile and displaced to the extent that a paradoxical element traverses the series and makes them resonate, enveloping the corresponding singular points in a single aleatory point and all the emissions, all dice throws, in a single cast.
For me it has a prancing, high-stepping quality, full of self-importance; elevated indeed, but in the balletic manner, and stopping from time to time in studied attitudes, as if awaiting an outburst of applause.
It has had a deplorable influence on the quality of modern thought Returning to attack the same targets from another angle, Medawar says: I could quote evidence of the beginnings of a whispering campaign against the virtues of clarity. A writer on structuralism in the Times Literary Supplement has suggested that thoughts which are confused and tortuous by reason of their profundity are most appropriately expressed in prose that is deliberately unclear.
What a preposterously silly idea! I am reminded of an air-raid warden in wartime Oxford who, when bright moonlight seemed to be defeating the spirit of the blackout, exhorted us to wear dark glasses. He, however, was being funny on purpose. Deleuze and Guattari have written and collaborated on books described by the celebrated Michel Foucault as "among the greatest of the great Some day, perhaps, the century will be Deleuzian.
For the rest, we leave it to the reader to judge. No doubt there exist thoughts so profound that most of us will not understand the language in which they are expressed. And no doubt there is also language designed to be unintelligible in order to conceal an absence of honest thought. But how are we to tell the difference? What if it really takes an expert eye to detect whether the emperor has clothes?
They have limited their critique to those books that have ventured to invoke concepts from physics and mathematics. Here they know what they are talking about, and their verdict is unequivocal.
On Jacques Lacan, for example, whose name is revered by many in humanities departments throughout US and British universities, no doubt partly because he simulates a profound understanding of mathematics It recalls the Aldous Huxley character who proved the existence of God by dividing zero into a number, thereby deriving the infinite.
In a further piece of reasoning that is entirely typical of the genre, Lacan goes on to conclude that the erectile organ We do not need the mathematical expertise of Sokal and Bricmont to assure us that the author of this stuff is a fake. Perhaps he is genuine when he speaks of non-scientific subjects? Fluids, you see, have been unfairly neglected.
For once, we get a reasonably unobstructed look at the emperor and, yes, he has no clothes: The privileging of solid over fluid mechanics, and indeed the inability of science to deal with turbulent flow at all, she attributes to the association of fluidity with femininity. Whereas men have sex organs that protrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids From this perspective it is no wonder that science has not been able to arrive at a successful model for turbulence.
The problem of turbulent flow cannot be solved because the conceptions of fluids and of women have been formulated so as necessarily to leave unarticulated remainders. You do not have to be a physicist to smell out the daffy absurdity of this kind of argument the tone of it has become all too familiar , but it helps to have Sokal and Bricmont on hand to tell us the real reason why turbulent flow is a hard problem: the Navier-Stokes equations are difficult to solve.
The renowned Jean Baudrillard is only one of many to find chaos theory a useful tool for bamboozling readers.
Once again, Sokal and Bricmont help us by analysing the tricks being played. The following sentence, "though constructed from scientific terminology, is meaningless from a scientific point of view": Perhaps history itself has to be regarded as a chaotic formation, in which acceleration puts an end to linearity and the turbulence created by acceleration deflects history definitively from its end, just as such turbulence distances effects from their causes.
They again call attention to "the high density of scientific and pseudo-scientific terminology -- inserted in sentences that are, as far as we can make out, devoid of meaning". Whether or not one interprets them as metaphors, it is hard to see what role they could play, except to give an appearance of profundity to trite observations about sociology or history.
Moreover, the scientific terminology is mixed up with a non-scientific vocabulary that is employed with equal sloppiness. Perhaps, but one is then left wondering why their writings are so stupefyingly boring. More tellingly, if they are only joking, why do they react with such shrieks of dismay when somebody plays a joke at their expense? The genesis of Intellectual Impostures was a brilliant hoax perpetrated by Sokal, and the stunning success of his coup was not greeted with the chuckles of delight that one might have hoped for after such a feat of deconstructive game playing.
As is now rather well known, in Sokal submitted to the US journal Social Text a paper called "Transgressing the boundaries: towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity". From start to finish the paper was nonsense. It was a carefully crafted parody of postmodern metatwaddle.
Hardly able to believe what he read in this book, Sokal followed up the references to postmodern literature, and found that Gross and Levitt did not exaggerate.
He resolved to do something about it. It cites all the best people. And it is complete, unadulterated bullshit -- a fact that somehow escaped the attention of the high-powered editors of Social Text, who must now be experiencing that queasy sensation that afflicted the Trojans the morning after they pulled that nice big gift horse into their city. It was sent to no such referee. The editors, Andrew Ross and others, were satisfied that its ideology conformed to their own, and were perhaps flattered by references to their own works.
This ignominious piece of editing rightly earned them the Ig Nobel prize for literature. Notwithstanding the egg all over their faces, and despite their feminist pretensions, these editors are dominant males in the academic establishment. Ross has the boorish, tenured confidence to say things like, "I am glad to be rid of English departments.
It could only have been written without them. Many of them have tenured professorships at some of the best universities in the United States. Men of this kind sit on appointment committees, wielding power over young academics who might secretly aspire to an honest academic career in literary studies or, say, anthropology.
I know -- because many of them have told me -- that there are sincere scholars out there who would speak out if they dared, but who are intimidated into silence. To them, Sokal will appear as a hero, and nobody with a sense of humour or a sense of justice will disagree. It helps, by the way, although it is strictly irrelevant, that his own left-wing credentials are impeccable. In a detailed post-mortem of his famous hoax, submitted to Social Text but predictably rejected by them and published elsewhere , Sokal notes that, in addition to numerous half-truths, falsehoods and non sequiturs, his original article contained some "syntactically correct sentences that have no meaning whatsoever".
I have just been there, and it produced for me a 6,word article called "Capitalist theory and the subtextual paradigm of context" by "David I. Werther and Rudolf du Garbandier of the Department of English, Cambridge University" poetic justice there, for it was Cambridge that saw fit to give Jacques Derrida an honorary degree.
Here is a typical passage from this impressively erudite work: If one examines capitalist theory, one is faced with a choice: either reject neotextual materialism or conclude that society has objective value. If dialectic desituationism holds, we have to choose between Habermasian discourse and the subtextual paradigm of context. It could be said that the subject is contextualised into a textual nationalism that includes truth as a reality. In a sense, the premise of the subtextual paradigm of context states that reality comes from the collective unconscious.
Visit the Postmodernism Generator. It is a literally infinite source of randomly generated, syntactically correct nonsense, distinguishable from the real thing only in being more fun to read. You could generate thousands of papers per day, each one unique and ready for publication, complete with numbered endnotes.
As for the harder task of reclaiming US literary departments for genuine scholars, Sokal and Bricmont have joined Gross and Levitt in giving a friendly and sympathetic lead from the world of science. We must hope that it will be followed.
DAWKINS POSTMODERNISM DISROBED PDF
Sar The reason some sociologists do not feel they need to do public sociology is because they feel social work is an extension of what they do. Even science constantly reassesses itself and finds all of disrboed faults, to correct them. There are people who can neither think nor write in every branch of science. The downvotes are because you are defending what appears, to most reasonable observers, to be utter nonsense. The first part is falsified by simply running any scientific experiment, which provides us with abundant truth. Originally Posted by Richard Dawkins Suppose you are an intellectual impostor with nothing to say, but with strong ambitions to succeed in academic life, collect a coterie of reverent disciples and have students around the world anoint your pages with respectful yellow highlighter.
I read a lot of "French theory" and secondary literature - not enough to have a really thorough grounding, but enough, I think, to be able to form my own judgements. Most of it is bunk. In all cases where I actually reached something I thought was valuable, all the junk on the way only hindered, never helped - the horrible jargon, the bureaucratic sentences, the nonsensical code-words, the weak and unstable pulse of the argument. I offer Derrida as an example of a postmodern well, poststructuralist author who has Something To Say. I recommend this. The quality of writing varies wildly from one author to another, even if we restrict to the most famous ones.