Re: Subject: Re: A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies

J. R. Molloy (
Sun, 14 Nov 1999 15:40:01 -0800

Curt wrote,
>I haven't read Sokol directly, apart from what is published here. I didn't
>perceive him claiming that humanities were bad, just that fuzzy thinking and
>ignoring facts hurts. You *could* do scientific and scholarly work in
>"cultural studies"; I thought the point was that the editors of that magazine
>were not.

The scientific study of culture sounds feasible. Science tells us we _can_ study culture, but it doesn't tell if we ought to (right Greg?).
IMO, no government, agency, or political group would stand to benefit from a truly scientific study of culture, because such a study would obliterate the validity of political denominations, since politics depends on disagreement as to forms of governance (which unbiased science would resolve).

Sokal's (probably repeatable) experiment shows that scientific study of culture does not currently exist. His experiment further illustrates that if scientists ever decide to study culture scientifically, they ought to call it something other than "Cultural Studies" since that term refers to a body of work separate and discrete from science.

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"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. That which does kill us makes us smell stronger, after a few days, anyway." --Hieronymous Anonymous