Norman Levitt  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Norman Jay Levitt (August 27, 1943 – October 24, 2009) was a mathematician at Rutgers University. He was born in The Bronx and received a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1963.

Levitt was best known for his tireless criticism of "the academic Left"—the social constructivists, deconstructionists, and postmodernists—for their anti-science stance which "lump[s] science in with other cultural traditions as 'just another way of knowing' that is no better than any other tradition, and thereby reduce the scientific enterprise to little more than culturally-determined guess work at best and hegemonic power mongering at worst". His books (see Bibliography below) and review articles, such as "Why Professors Believe Weird Things: Sex, Race, and the Trials of the New Left", expose the "academic silliness" and analyze the symptoms and roots of the academic Left's belief that "solemn incantation can overturn the order of the social universe, if only the jargon be appropriately obscure and exotic, and intoned with sufficient fervor". His book Higher Superstition is cited as having inspired the Sokal affair.


Bibliography




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