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A House Built on SandExposing Postmodernist Myths About Science$
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Noretta Koertge

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195117257

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195117255.001.0001

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What the Social Text Affair Does and Does Not Prove What the Social Text Affair Does and Does Not Prove Alan D. Sokal

What the Social Text Affair Does and Does Not Prove What the Social Text Affair Does and Does Not Prove Alan D. Sokal

Chapter:
(p.9) What the Social Text Affair Does and Does Not Prove Alan D. Sokal
Source:
A House Built on Sand
Author(s):

Alan D. Sokal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195117255.003.0002

This essay analyzes what Social Text’s publication of a parody of the author’s article does and does not prove about the prevailing intellectual standards in the cultural studies of science. It discusses and criticizes two types of writing: one characterized by meaningless or absurd statements, name-dropping, and the display of false erudition; the other by sloppy thinking and poor philosophy, which come together notably in the form of glib relativism. It concludes with some critical comments on the misnamed “Science Wars”.

Keywords:   Social Text, parody, hoax, cultural studies, sociology of science, science studies, strong program, relativism

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