It’s now been twenty years since the “Sokal affair,” also known as the “Sokal hoax”, in which physicist/mathematician Alan Sokal submitted a bogus postmodernist paper to the journal Social Text, with the jawbreaking pomo title, “Transgressing the boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity.” (Paper free at link.) The paper used real quotes from professors of science studies, as well as other postmodernist scholars, to show that the field of quantum gravity was riddled with patriarchy and deeply polluted by social attitudes. In reality, it was intended to show that the humanities (not all of them!) were infected by a profound subjectivism about ways of finding truth, as well as by a deep suspicion of science.
Here are a couple of quotes from Alan’s paper; only a postmodernist could take these seriously:
Over the past two decades there has been extensive discussion among critical theorists with…
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