In a series of recent publications, Alan Sokal has launched a series of stinging attacks against contemporary cultural studies. In Intellectual Impostures, for example, written together with Jean Bricmont, the authors (hereafter S&B) criticise the way in which French poststructuralist critics, such as Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan and Gilles Deleuze, have abused the scientific terminology to which, Sokal claims, they exhibit slavish adherence. Many authors, such as Andrew Ross and Stanley Aronowitz, have taken up the cudgels against S&B. But their (...) replies often miss the mark either by arguing at too abstract a level against S&B's project as a whole or employing strategies and principles drawn from the self same body of texts which S&B criticize. In this article, by contrast, I reply to specific criticisms S&B direct against Lacan's use of topological concepts. By showing that S&B miss a perfectly reasonable, mathematically acceptable way of reading Lacan's appropriation of topology, I intend to raise more general doubts about S&B's erudition in connection with the works they criticise. (shrink)
By conceiving interpellation as a general mechanism for the social constitution of human subjects, authors such as Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau and Slavoj Žižek have emancipated interpellation from its conservative roots as an ideological dispositif. I examine this conceptual shift through the work of Ernesto Laclau, who, using interpellation as a model for the Gramscian process of articulation, shifts it from the conservative to the radical side of the political ledger. But, we will see, Laclau’s theory runs into various difficulties. (...) I get around these by suggesting a generalization of the concept of interpellation that realizes Althusser’s seminal project of combining his own anti-humanist reading of Marx with Lacan’s “return to Freud.”. (shrink)
The exercises of modem power which Foucault discusses constitute counterexamples to traditional views of the nature of power. Foucault's views are extended to provide an account of the nature of resistance.
In a recent book, Laudan has put forward a new and provocative theory of scientific progress. In this discussion we shall show that some of the claims which Laudan presents as new, are (or at least can be made into) parts of more "traditional" wisdom. In particular (in Section 1) we shall criticize his claim to have uncovered a new class of non-refuting anomalies for theories. We shall also (in section 2) criticize Laudan's view that a theory may have an (...) anomaly because of conflict with non-scientific theories--as long as those theories are perceived of as rational. Laudan's view of theory-assessment--via the assessment of "research traditions"--is also examined in this section. It is found to be a significant departure from both traditional, and more radical (Lakatosian, Kuhnian, Feyerabendian) alternatives. Finally, (in Section 3), we examine Laudan's claim that theories may have anomalies because of conflict with methodological theories. (shrink)
The traditional indeterminacy and realist interpretations for quantum theory are examined. A third interpretation is put forward, for which the Born statistical interpretation can be derived by setting up a model for the measuring process.
The first part of a new axiomatization for quantum mechanics is described. An expression is derived for the probability associated with a particular value of a variable for a given system at some time.
The purpose of this paper is to resolve two paradoxes, which occur in quantum theory, by using the discussion of the theory of measurement presented in two earlier papers by the author , , . The two paradoxes discussed will be the Schrödinger cat paradox and the Einstein, Podolski, Rosen paradox . An introductory section will be included which summarizes the relevant results from the author's previous papers. Also a discussion will be made regarding the author's interpretation of the density (...) operator. (shrink)