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Academic Cults
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  1. An Annotated Bibliography of Nonsense
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1998
    Academic critics today not only question the impact of science upon society, but they also question the very idea of scientific rationality.
  2. Chomsky on Post-Modernism
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1995
    What I find in the writings of the post-modernists is extremely pretentious, but on examination, a lot of it is simply illiterate, based on extraordinary misreading of texts that I know well (sometimes, that I have written), argument that is appalling in its casual lack of elementary self-criticism, lots of statements that are trivial (though dressed up in complicated verbiage) or false; and a good deal of plain gibberish.
  3. Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1998
    The authors criticize postmodernism in academia for its misuses of scientific and mathematical concepts in postmodern writing. Fashionable Nonsense examines two related topics: (1) The incompetent and pretentious usage of scientific concepts by a small group of influential philosophers and intellectuals; (2) the problems of cognitive relativism, the idea that "modern science is nothing more than a 'myth', a 'narration' or a 'social construction' among many others". The stated goal of the book is not to attack "philosophy, the humanities or the social sciences in general...[but] to warn those who work in them (especially students) against some manifest cases of charlatanism," and in particular to "deconstruct" the notion that some books and writers are difficult because they deal with profound and difficult ideas. "If the texts seem incomprehensible, it is for the excellent reason that they mean precisely nothing." The book includes long extracts from the works of Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Paul Virilio, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Luce Irigaray, Bruno Latour, and Jean Baudrillard who are considered by some to be leading academics of Continental philosophy, critical theory, psychoanalysis or social sciences. Sokal and Bricmont set out to show how those intellectuals have used concepts from the physical sciences and mathematics incorrectly. The extracts are intentionally rather long to avoid accusations of taking sentences out of context.
    Published in French as Impostures Intellectuelles and in the United Kingdom as Intellectual Impostures.
  4. Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1994
    Describes attacks on science, and on concepts of truth and rationality, in areas of the humanities.
  5. Postmodern Disrobed
    Review of Intellectual Impostures

    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1998
    An admirable job of exposing the daffy absurdity of postmodernism intellectuals.
  6. Rationality/Science
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1995
    Chomsky writes: "It strikes me as remarkable that the left today should seek to deprive oppressed people not only of the joys of understanding and insight, but also of tools of emancipation, informing us that the "project of the Enlightenment" is dead, that we must abandon the "illusions" of science and rationality--a message that will gladden the hearts of the powerful, delighted to monopolize these instruments for their own use."

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