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Reading

Beyond the Hoax

Book Digest Physicist Alan Sokal is famous for his 1996 Social Text article, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” written as a parody of postmodernism (it is included in this book). Of course, it caused much warranted fulmination in academic circles, as well as a stir in the world at large. In this tome, Sokal sees a vital need for “for the centrality of evidence in all matters of public debate,” as science, reality, and truth are being hijacked and manipulated, and know-nothings and hucksters obscure the facts about such issues as global warming, evolution, cigarette smoke and on and on. Sokal provides much-needed arguments for piercing the “relativist fog” that has engulfed science and public debate.
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