Fear of Scandalous Knowledge: Arguing About Coherence in Scientific Theory and Practice

A decade after the ‘‘Sokal Hoax,’’ Alan Sokal and Paul Boghossian still claim that postmodern arguments are incoherent attacks on reason and truth. However, both also continue to mischaracterize ‘‘constructivist’’ epistemology, to engage in highly problematic logical gymnastics to defend their own views, and to ignore changes in philosophy of science and science studies since 1996. I offer a brief description of my own, rather different understanding of postmodern science criticism in order to contextualize my dissatisfaction with Sokal and Boghossian’s arguments, and to highlight the value of cross-subfield anthropological collaboration based on the constructivist perspective articulated by Barbara Herrnstein Smith. Downloaded by [New York University] at 03:33 19 July 2011..
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