A Physicist Experiments With Physical Studies
|Title||A Physicist Experiments With Physical Studies|
Only in the 1990s has it become safe to defend publicly the concepts "truth" and "reality". Nowadays, it is even becoming increasingly fashionable to jump on the backlash bandwagon against anti-science (and also the allied movements 'Political Correctness' (PC), 'relativism', ?social constructivism?, ?deconstructionism?, ?post-modernism?, and the whole fin-de-si?cle new-(dark)-age shebang). Alan Sokal?s "A Physicist Experiments with Cultural Studies" (Lingua Franca, May/June 1996, pp. 62-64) was a clever and effective device to expose the intellectual shortcomings of some of these obscurantist movements. But by what mysterious causes, in the first place, were they born, nurtured, helped to grow, and allowed to thrive for so many decades? I discovered the correct answers to these questions in 1977. In the oppressive and suffocating atmosphere of the benighted 1970s and 1980s, however, the PC thought police had already ensured that my answers were completely unacceptable to virtually the entire intellectual community (and not merely to one or other section of it, or only to the "establishment"), while the concept "truth" itself was very nearly so. I struggled to publicise my discoveries, with only partial progress so far. In this essay, I submit some of the true facts of the story, and some of the inferences derived from them, for the consideration of journalists, historians, sociologists, ethicists, and others. The related epistemological and ethical questions are shown to be of fundamental importance and in need of immediate attention and urgent resolution.