11 Facts About Alan Sokal


Alan David Sokal is a professor of mathematics at University College London and professor emeritus of physics at New York University.

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Alan Sokal is a critic of postmodernism, and caused the Sokal affair in 1996 when his deliberately nonsensical paper was published by Duke University Press's Social Text.

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Alan Sokal co-authored a paper criticizing the critical positivity ratio concept in positive psychology.

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Alan Sokal received his BA from Harvard College in 1976 and his PhD from Princeton University in 1981.

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Alan Sokal's interests include computational physics and algorithms, such as Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for problems in statistical physics.

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In 2013, Alan Sokal co-authored a paper with Nicholas Brown and Harris Friedman, rejecting the Losada Line, a concept popular in positive psychology.

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In 1996, Alan Sokal was curious to see whether the then-non-peer-reviewed postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text would publish a submission which "flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions".

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Soon thereafter, Alan Sokal then revealed that the article was a hoax in the journal Lingua Franca, arguing that the left and social science would be better served by intellectual underpinnings based on reason.

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Alan Sokal responded to leftist and postmodernist criticism of the deception by asserting that he was himself a leftist, and that his motivation was to "defend the Left from a trendy segment of itself".

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Alan Sokal followed up in 1997 by co-authoring the book Impostures Intellectuelles with physicist and philosopher of science Jean Bricmont .

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In 2008, Alan Sokal revisited the Alan Sokal affair and its implications in Beyond the Hoax.

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