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The Postmodern Hoax

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Beyond the HoaxReading Alan Sokal’s Beyond the Hoax brought back the question that haunted my university teaching career:  How much of postmodernism was intellectual fraud?
"Transgressing Boundaries" and Social TextSokal is the physicist who submitted a deliberately bogus article entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries:Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” to the cultural studies journal Social Text.

Post-structuralism as MummeryAfter it was accepted and published (Spring/Summer 1996), Sokal announced that the article was nonsense, a parody of postmodernist half-baked arguments and verbiage. Sokal and the Belgian physicist/philosopher, Jean Bricmont, subsequently published Impostures Intellectuelles (1997) in which they systematically unmasked the mummery of leading lights of post-structuralist theory such as Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva.

Jacques Lacan as CharlatanThe most compelling essay I have read on Lacan is Dylan Evans’ “From Lacan to Darwin.”  Eva…