Postmodernism and the left
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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ALAN SOKAL'S HOAX, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," which was published in the "Science Wars" issue of Social Text ,1 and the debate that has followed it, raise important issues for the left. Sokal's article is a parody of postmodernism, or, more precisely, the amalgam of postmodernism, poststructuralist theory, deconstruction, and political moralism which has come to hold sway in large areas of academia, especially those associated with Cultural Studies. These intellectual strands are not always entirely consistent with each other. For instance, the strong influence of identity politics in this arena seems inconsistent with the poststructuralist insistence on the instability of all identities. Nevertheless, no one who has participated in this arena can deny that it is dominated by a specific, highly distinctive subculture. One knows when one finds oneself in a conference, seminar, or discussion governed by this subculture, by the vocabulary that is used, the ideas that are expressed or taken for granted, and by the fears that circulate, the things that remain unsaid. There are many critiques of the literature that informs this arena, which can for convenience be called postmodernism (though the term poststructuralist..
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Similar books and articles
Martin Schiralli (1999). Constructive Postmodernism: Toward Renewal in Cultural and Literary Studies. Bergin & Garvey.
Saul Newman (2005). Power and Politics in Poststructuralist Thought: New Theories of the Political. Routledge.
Paul Boghossian (1996). What the Sokal Hoax Ought to Teach Us. Times Literary Supplement.
Jean-Philippe Bouilloud (2003). The Reception of the Sokal Affair in France—"Pomo" Hunting or Intellectual Mccarthyism?: A Propos of Impostures Intellectuelles by A. Sokal and J. Bricmont. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (1):122-137.
Alan D. Sokal (2008). Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture. Oxford University Press.
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