Science Wars—Remarks from a Critical Rationalist’s Point of View
Karl Popper, A CENTENARY ASSESSMENT, VOLUME II: Epistomology and Metaphysics, Jarvie, K. Milford, D. Miller, eds., Aldershot et al., Ashgate, 2006.
14 Pages Posted: 16 May 2011
Date Written: 2006
In this text I would like to make some remarks on the so called ‘Science Wars’ from a Critical Rationalist’s point of view. First I will describe the beginning of this war, which was given public awareness by Alan Sokal in 1996 publishing his text Transgressing the Boundaries. Toward a transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity in the postmodernist journal Social Text. In 1997 Alan Sokal, together with Jean Bricmont, again attacked postmodernist and poststructuralist scholars with the book Impostures Intellectuelles. I will describe the aims of their book and in addition portray briefly the postmodernist relativistic epistemology. Since Sokal and Bricmont identify Critical Rationalism as a source of that relativism, I then will show possible reasons for this reproach. I will reject their critique, since it is based on false estimations about Critical Rationalism but I also will show that there are some good reasons to criticize Critical Rationalism. As a kind of conclusion I will argue that in the future it is necessary that Critical Rationalists will dispute more offensively against postmodernist thinking to prevent a deepening of the gap between the humanities and science and because science is an important means to the improvement of our society.
Keywords: Sokal's Hoax
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