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Fashionable Nonsense

Author: Alan Sokal
Publisher: Picador
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In 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in Social Text--an influential academic journal of cultural studies--touting the deep similarities between quantum gravitational theory and postmodern philosophy. Soon thereafter, the essay was revealed as a brilliant parody, a catalog of nonsense written in the cutting-edge but impenetrable lingo of postmodern theorists. The event sparked a furious debate in academic circles and made the headlines of newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. Now in Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science, Sokal and his fellow physicist Jean Bricmont expand from where the hoax left off. In a delightfully witty and clear voice, the two thoughtfully and thoroughly dismantle the pseudo-scientific writings of some of the most fashionable French and American intellectuals. More generally, they challenge the widespread notion that scientific theories are mere "narrations" or social constructions.


The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense

Author: Ophelia Benson
Publisher: Souvenir PressLtd
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Two of Britain's leading cultural commentators provide a hilarious guide to the various trendy discourses that academics have churned out for decades. Covering such schools of thought as difference feminism, deconstruction, and the sociology of knowledge, the author reveals that clotted jargon, tortured syntax, and unreadable style hides the fact that nothing new is being said. This ironic guide offers an array of ludicrous, exaggerated, self-contradicting definitions and explanations of popular intellectual jargon, poking witty fun at postmodern theorists from Adorno to Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, and arming the reader with enough knowledge to salt them into the conversation if ever trapped at a party with a crowd of trendy academics.


Tales of Fashionable Life

Author: Maria Edgeworth
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Culture Wars

Author: Roger Chapman
Publisher: M.E. Sharpe
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A collection of letters from a cross-section of Japanese citizens to a leading Japanese newspaper, relating their experiences and thoughts of the Pacific War.


Quantum Sense and Nonsense

Author: Jean Bricmont
Publisher: Springer
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Permeated by the author's delightful humor, this little book explains, with nearly no mathematics, the main conceptual issues associated with quantum mechanics: The issue of determinism. Does quantum mechanics signify the end of a deterministic word-view? The role of the human subject or of the "observer" in science. Since Copernicus, science has increasingly tended to dethrone Man from his formerly held special position in the Universe. But quantum mechanics, with its emphasis on the notion of observation, may once more have given a central role to the human subject. The issue of locality. Does quantum mechanics imply that instantaneous actions at a distance exist in Nature? In these pages the author offers a variety of views and answers - bad as well as good - to these questions. The reader will be both entertained and enlightened by Jean Bricmont's clear and incisive arguments.


Lacan to the Letter

Author: Bruce Fink
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
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To read Lacan closely is to follow him to the letter, to take him literally, making the wager that he comes right out and says what he means in many cases, though much of his argument must be reconstructed through a line-by-line examination. And this is precisely what Bruce Fink does in this ambitious book, a fine analysis of Lacan's work on language and psychoanalytic treatment conducted on the basis of a very close reading of texts in his Icrits: A Selection. As a translator and renowned proponent of Lacan's works, Fink is an especially adept and congenial guide through the complexities of Lacanian literature and concepts. He devotes considerable space to notions that have been particularly prone to misunderstanding, notions such as "the sliding of the signified under the signifier,"or that have gone seemingly unnoticed, such as "the ego is the metonymy of desire." Fink also pays special attention to psychoanalytic concepts, like affect, that Lacan is sometimes thought to neglect, and to controversial concepts, like the phallus. From a parsing of Lacan's claim that "commenting on a text is like doing an analysis," to sustained readings of "The Instance of the Letter in the Unconscious," "The Direction of the Treatment," and "Subversion of the Subject" (with particular attention given to the workings of the Graph of Desire), Fink's book is a work of unmatched subtlety, depth, and detail, providing a valuable new perspective on one of the twentieth century's most important thinkers. Bruce Fink is a practicing Lacanian psychoanalyst, analytic supervisor, and professor of psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He is the author of A Clinical Introduction to LacanianPsychoanalysis (1997) and The Lacanian Subject (1995). He has coedited three volumes on Lacan's seminars and is the translator of Lacan's Seminar XX, On Feminine Sexuality, the Limits of Love and Knowledge (1998), Icrits: A Selection (2002), and Icrits: The Complete Text (forthcoming).


French Theory

Author: François Cusset
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
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Explores how the French theory of philosophy, which became popular during the last three decades of the twentieth century, spread to America and examines the critical practices that French theory inspired.


Advice to Young Men and incidentally to Young Women in the Middle and Higher Ranks of Life

Author: William Cobbett
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The Italian Novelists

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The Italian Novelists Selected from the Most Approved Authors in that Language

Author: Thomas Roscoe
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