[lbo-talk] Conversation with Derrida

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Thu Nov 5 08:25:37 PST 2009

On Nov 5, 2009, at 9:47 AM, Andy wrote:

> So when Sokal pulled his stunt, and then explained in his apologia:
> <http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/afterword_v1a/afterword_v1a_singlefile.html
> >
> [...]
> But why did I do it? I confess that I'm an unabashed Old Leftist

I spent some time talking to Sokal just after his stunt. I was initially sympathetic, but then turned on him. Ok, he proved that Stanley Aronowitz is a fool. To me, that's obvious and noncontroversial. But as for the rest of the field of science studies, my sense from talking with Sokal was that he really doesn't know what he's talking about - for him, there's no intelligent critique of science. Truth is just obvious and self-evident. E.g., I asked him what he thought of the Frankfurt school & their critique of instrumental reason and he had no idea what I was talking about. For me, the result of his hoax was to turn me into a Judith Butler fan.


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