[Marxism] Fwd: Predatory Journals and Predatory Skeptics | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue May 23 11:31:02 MDT 2017

On the Skeptic Magazine website there’s an article titled “The 
Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct: A Sokal-Style Hoax on Gender 
Studies” co-authored by Peter Boghossian, Ed.D. and James Lindsay, Ph.D. 
that details how they suckered a “peer-reviewed journal” into publishing 
a bunch of gibberish filled with postmodernist jargon.

The article appeared in Cogent Social Sciences, a division of Taylor and 
Francis that along with Sage, Springer and Elsevier represent the 
top-drawer of academic publishing. Or at least has such a reputation. A 
representative paragraph appears in the Skeptic article:

	We conclude that penises are not best understood as the male sexual 
organ, or as a male reproductive organ, but instead as an enacted social 
construct that is both damaging and problematic for society and future 
generations. The conceptual penis presents significant problems for 
gender identity and reproductive identity within social and family 
dynamics, is exclusionary to disenfranchised communities based upon 
gender or reproductive identity, is an enduring source of abuse for 
women and other gender-marginalized groups and individuals, is the 
universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver 
behind much of climate change.

The references are as bogus as the rest of the article, including one 
for the Postmodern Generator, a website coded in the 1990s by Andrew 
Bulhak featuring an algorithm, based on NYU physicist Alan Sokal’s 
method of hoaxing a cultural studies journal called Social Text, that 
returns a different fake postmodern “paper” every time the page is reloaded.


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