Dictionary of Arguments

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Method: a method is a procedure agreed on by participants of a discussion or research project. In the case of violations of a method, the comparability of the results is in particular questioned, since these no longer come from a set with uniformly defined properties of the elements.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 113
Method/Sociology/Bruno Latour/SokalVsLatour/BricmontVsLatour/Bricmont/Sokal: Bruno Latour's works contain a large number of proposals that are formulated so ambiguously that they can hardly be taken literally. And if one takes away their ambiguity, one comes to the conclusion that what Latour claims is either true and banal or surprisingly and clearly wrong. Example (B. Latour, Science in Action, Cambridge 1987, p. 99):
Latour's Third Rule: "Since settling a controversy is the cause of nature's representation, not its consequence, we can never explain how and why a controversy has been resolved on the basis of the result - of nature.
SokalVsLatour: Latour goes from the "representation of nature" in the first half of the movement to "nature" in the second half without further ado. If we are to read in both parts of the sentence "representation of nature", we arrive at the truism that the scientific representations of nature (i.e. the theories) are achieved by a social process and that the course and result of this social process cannot be explained simply by its outcome.
On the other hand, if we take "nature" in the second part of the sentence (in connection with the word "result") seriously, we come to the assertion that the outside world is created by the actions of scientists - a rather bizarre form of radical idealism.
If we take the word "nature" in the second part of the sentence seriously,...
I 114
...but delete the "result" before it, we arrive at either (a) the weak (and trivially true) assertion that the course and result of a scientific controversy cannot be explained solely by the nature of the outer world (of course, society will decide which experiments are carried out at all), or (b) the strong (and clearly false) assertion that the essence of the outer world plays a role in determining the course and result of a scientific controversy.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Sokal I
Alan Sokal
Jean Bricmont
Fashionabel Nonsense. Postmodern Intellectuals Abuse of Science, New York 1998
German Edition:
Eleganter Unsinn. Wie die Denker der Postmoderne die Wissenschaften missbrauchen München 1999

Sokal II
Alan Sokal
Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science New York 1999

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> Counter arguments against Sokal
> Counter arguments in relation to Method

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-05-21
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