Jean Bricmont 'Realism, Idealism and Relativism'


15 janvier 2020

15h00 - 17h00

For a CEFISES seminar we welcome Prof. Jean Bricmont who is professeur émérite at the Institut de recherche en mathématique et physique – Faculté des Sciences at our own university. 

Jean Bricmont is a theoretical physicist, science communicator, and a philosopher of science.

Jean Bricmont achieved over 15 minutes of international fame for co-authoring Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science, published in 1998 following up on the French version Impostures intellectuelles, written together with fellow scientist Alan Sokal.

The book appeared in the slipstream of the Sokal affaire in which Alan Sokal managed to get a parody article published in the academic journal Social Text, imitating uninformed use and abuse of theoretical terminology from mathematics and physics among certain influential intellectuals from that time. (The book quotes amongst others Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida.) The book received quite some coverage – from newspapers to more elevated media – Richard Dawkins for example wrote a review of the book for Nature. For this seminar Jean Bricmont will take things more general by reflecting over some major philosophical ideas about how our comprehension of the world relates to the world itself. 

The seminar will take place as usual in the salle Jean Ladrière (Collège Mercier a124, 1er étage), Place Cardinal Mercier 14, Louvain-la-Neuve.

The talk will be in English.