The Greatest Intellectual Scam of All-Time: French Postmodernism

by cofty 99 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cofty

    SBF you annoyed me enough to deserve this.

    Gad Saad's comments on the nonsensical gibberish of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan. Charlatanism of the highest order.


    The first quote from Derrida starts as 2:50

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    That was 7:49 that I'll never get back. But it reminds me why my life is better as an engineer than as a French postmodern philosopher.

  • slimboyfat

    Annoyed you so much that is deserve what? Presenting me a YouTube video referencing a book you've apparently not read. Nor the creator of the video it would seem. From what I remember of Sokal's book he doesn't actually object to Derrida and Foucault, but writers such as Lacan, Kristeva and Spivak.

    "Husserl - some author that I don't know who that is"? Impressive analysis right there.

    Let me know when you've actually read a book on the subject.

    To quote you:

    Creationists proudly display their ignorance because they think it is a virtue.

  • JeffT

    If I want a dose of gibberish I can't think of a better place to get it than an internet argument about French Postmodernism.

  • cofty

    SBF - For a while I was dumbfounded by your protests about "the tyranny of facts" and your cynical attitude towards scientific reality. You refuse to affirm that the earth is flat because "the perspective of a worm is just as valid as that of an astronaut".

    You describe scientific theories such as evolution as "useful narratives" that will be replaced by other narratives.

    At first I dismissed all of this as the protests of a contrarian individual. Then I came across a reference to the video in the OP while listening to an interview with Gad Saad. The experience he had while sharing a meal with a disciple of postmodern deconstructionism sounded familiar. In particular the way po. mo. thinkers pretend not to understand the common definitions of simple language.

    The OP contains quotations from three po. mo. writers. They are pretentious in the extreme and totally devoid of content.

    The Sokal Hoax

    In 1996, Alan Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies. On the day of its publication, Sokal that the article was a hoax structured around the silliest quotations by postmodernist academics he could find about mathematics and physics.

    This part of his satirical article familiar - After referring skeptically to the "so-called scientific method", the article declared that "it is becoming increasingly apparent that physical 'reality'" is fundamentally "a social and linguistic construct".

    I am no longer puzzled by your often bizarre interventions on almost every thread I post.


  • slimboyfat

    The quotes given are devoid of context.

    I find it curious that you lambast creationists for not reading any books about evolution before denying it. Frankly you are worse. Not only won't you read anything by Foucault or Derrida themselves, you've apparently not even read the critiques of them that you rely upon. At least creationists tend read the anti-evolution texts they advocate.

    Ignorance isn't a virtue on any side.

    Good for you you've found out about the Sokal's hoax. Maybe you could explain to me now what it has got to do with Foucault and Derrida? They were not writers targetted by Sokal. He criticised Lacan, Deleuze, Baudrillard and others.

  • cofty

    I just wanted to share with you that I now understand why you won't affirm that the earth is not flat.

  • Pistoff

    I don't have a literature degree, but my impression of Derrida: a droll French philosopher, who made a valid point that it it impossible for us to actually share a horizon with an author.

    It was gibberish to me until I thought of how it applied to the bible: we don't know the original words, what they meant at the time, and what was in the mind of the writers.

    While that is true to some degree of all discourse (critic's description of literature, music, poetry, art), no book has the impact that the bible has even down to our day.

    So it seems to me that Derrida's point is a valid one for us.

    At the same time, reading Derrida is like trying to read a foreign language; I do think Derrida made his essays intentionally opaque.

  • OrphanCrow

    Lol! that was entertaining.

    Listening to Gaad deride the French post-modernists was like listening to a 10 year old child make fun of algebra equations because he has no comprehension about what it means. Typically, people make fun of what they cannot understand and will be sarcastic about that which is beyond their comprehension. It is their way of trying to bring things down to a level that they can participate in it or feel superior to that which is beyond them.

    Gaad is infantile. The video operates at the level of an evangelical minister taking pot shots at Satan.

  • Pistoff

    There are many quotes about Derrida, some of them quite funny, but I like this quote, kind of sums up what I like about Derrida (BTW, there is lots I don't like, his obscurantism being one):

    "Certain American uses of deconstruction, Derrida has observed, work to ensure ‘an institutional closure’ which serves the dominant political and economic interests of American society. Derrida is clearly out to do more than develop new techniques of reading: deconstruction is for him an ultimately political practice, an attempt to dismantle the logic by which a particular system of thought, and behind that a whole system of political structures and social institutions, maintains its force. He is not seeking, absurdly, to deny the existence of relatively determinate truths, meanings, identities, intentions, historical continuities; he is seeking rather to see such things as the effects of a wider and deeper history of language, of the unconscious, of social institutions and practices.”

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