A House Built on Sand
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A House Built on Sand : Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science

4.14 (28 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Cultural critics say that 'science is politics by other means,' arguing that the results of scientific inquiry are profoundly shaped by the ideological agendas of powerful elites. Physicist Alan Sokal recently poked fun at these claims by foisting a sly parody of the genre on the unwitting editors of the cultural studies journal Social Text, touching off a still-unabated torrent of heated discussion. This hard-hitting collection picks up where Sokal left off. The essayists offer crisp and detailed critiques of case studies offered by the cultural critics as evidence that scientific results tell as more about social context than they do about the natural world. Pulling no punches, they identify numerous crude factual blunders (e.g. that Newton never performed any experiments) and egregious errors of omission, such as the attempt to explain the slow development of fluid dynamics solely on the terms of gender bias. Where there are positive aspects of a flawed account,or something to be learned from it, they do not hesitate to say so. Their target is shoddy scholarship. Comprising new essays by distinguished scholars of history, philosophy and science (including Sokal himself), this book raises lively debate to a new level of seriousness.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 334 pages
  • 162.56 x 228.6 x 33.02mm | 703.06g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 17 line figures
  • 0195117255
  • 9780195117257

Review quote

The chapters in the book are, in my mind, of high quality and well worth reading ... The book is a valuable contribution to something which eventually (hopefully) can be turned into a more fruitful and constructive dialogue between the lodgers in the two "houses". * Martin Gren, Geografiska Annaler 81 B (1999) * Noretta Koertge describes with humorous effect how widely the participants at a seminar on the science wars roamed. * The Economist * this book contributes significantly to the current debate over science. * Gary Gutting, Brit Jnl for the Philosophy of Science, Vol.51, No.1. * The strength of the book is that it provides a good transcendent critique of the excesses of a relativistic ontology, feminist critiques of science and the strong programme ... it is an important addition to the literature. * Steve Bishop, Science and Christian Belief, Vol.13, No.1, April 2001 *show more

About Noretta Koertge

Noretta Koertge is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University. A former chemist, she studied philosophy of science at the University of London and is the author of numerous articles on the methodology of both the natural and social sciences. She co-wrote (with Daphne Patai) Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women's Studies.show more

Rating details

28 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 32% (9)
4 54% (15)
3 11% (3)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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