Postmodernists: proof of points of triviality and sophistry

In summary, Charles Murray discusses the postmodernists in literary criticism in his book Real Smart. These postmodernists use impenetrable language and convoluted arguments to prove trivial and sophistical points, which has become a way for professors to score points in academia. Some postmodernists in literary criticism include Michel Foucault and Alan Sokal, who caused controversy with his hoax in the journal "Social Text".
  • #1
bluemoonKY
131
16
In Charles Murray's book Real Smart: Four Simple Truths For Bringing America's Schools Back To Reality, Murray writes about the postmodernists in literary criticism. His description really gets my interest. I think it would be interesting and perhaps amusing (I have a strange sense of humor) to me to read the work of the postmodernists in literary criticism that Murray is referring to. I will include the first few sentences before the mention of the postmodernists in literary criticism to provide a little bit of context, and I will put the part I'm referring to in boldface. Here is the excerpt:
"The second thing we have going for us is that professors are deeply motivated to show their peers how smart they are--exhibiting smartness is the only way to score points that count in academia. The way to do that is to say smart things about difficult problems in their fields. For the last few decades, intellectual fashion has made it possible for professors to score points by being tricky-smart. The postmodernists in literary criticism are an excellent example, using impenetrable vocabulary to make convoluted arguments in proof of points of a triviality and sophistry that would excite the envy of a medieval theologian." Who are the postmodernists in literary criticism? I mean, what are the names of some of these postmodernists in literary criticism? How can I find their work? What are some examples of books in which postmodernists in literary criticism use impenetrable vocabulary to make convoluted arguments in proof of points of triviality and sophistry that would excite the envy of a medieval theologian?
 
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  • #2
There's Foucalt, but I don't know that he does literary criticism.
 
  • #4
I've read a few of Foucault's book (some 20 years ago), and as far as I remember they were actually very easy to read. Hence, I don't think he would be a good example.
 
  • #5
bluemoonKY said:
In Charles Murray's book Real Smart: Four Simple Truths For Bringing America's Schools Back To Reality, Murray writes about the postmodernists in literary criticism. His description really gets my interest. I think it would be interesting and perhaps amusing (I have a strange sense of humor) to me to read the work of the postmodernists in literary criticism that Murray is referring to. I will include the first few sentences before the mention of the postmodernists in literary criticism to provide a little bit of context, and I will put the part I'm referring to in boldface. Here is the excerpt:
"The second thing we have going for us is that professors are deeply motivated to show their peers how smart they are--exhibiting smartness is the only way to score points that count in academia. The way to do that is to say smart things about difficult problems in their fields. For the last few decades, intellectual fashion has made it possible for professors to score points by being tricky-smart. The postmodernists in literary criticism are an excellent example, using impenetrable vocabulary to make convoluted arguments in proof of points of a triviality and sophistry that would excite the envy of a medieval theologian." Who are the postmodernists in literary criticism? I mean, what are the names of some of these postmodernists in literary criticism? How can I find their work? What are some examples of books in which postmodernists in literary criticism use impenetrable vocabulary to make convoluted arguments in proof of points of triviality and sophistry that would excite the envy of a medieval theologian?

Did you miss the whole debacle surrounding Alan Sokal's hoax in "Social Text"?

Zz.
 
  • #6
ZapperZ said:
Did you miss the whole debacle surrounding Alan Sokal's hoax in "Social Text"?

Zz.

ZapperZ, yes, I did miss it. I've never heard of Alan Sokal or "Social Text".
 

Related to Postmodernists: proof of points of triviality and sophistry

1. What is postmodernism?

Postmodernism is a philosophical and cultural movement that emerged in the mid-20th century. It questions the traditional ideas of truth, knowledge, and authority, and emphasizes the subjectivity of these concepts.

2. How do postmodernists prove their points?

Postmodernists often use deconstruction, a method of analysis that reveals the hidden assumptions and contradictions within a text or idea. They also rely on critical theory and cultural studies to challenge dominant narratives and ideologies.

3. Are postmodernists just being intentionally obscure and confusing?

No, postmodernists are not trying to be deliberately confusing. They are questioning the idea of a single, objective truth and instead embracing multiple perspectives and interpretations.

4. Do postmodernists reject all forms of authority and expertise?

While postmodernists do question traditional forms of authority, they do not reject all expertise. They believe that everyone has their own unique perspective and experiences, and that these should be valued and considered in the pursuit of knowledge.

5. What criticisms have been made against postmodernism?

Some critics argue that postmodernism leads to a relativistic view of truth and undermines the pursuit of objective knowledge. Others claim that it is overly subjective and lacks concrete solutions or actions for social and political issues.

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