By the same token, many leftists are willing to grasp at straws to defend journals and fields of inquiry that they regard as morally righteous. Some have dismissed Sokal Squared by pointing out that many disciplines, from economics to psychology, have in the past years also faced crises of confidence. Others have simply cited the conservative instrumentalization of Sokal Squared as a reason to ignore it. “Academics,” Alison Phipps wrote on Twitter, “please stand by colleagues in Gender Studies/Critical Race Studies/Fat Studies & other areas targeted by this journal article hoax. This is a coordinated attack from the right.”
That too is intellectually dishonest. For one, Lindsay, Pluckrose and Boghossian describe themselves as left-leaning liberals. For another, it is nonsensical to insist that nonsense scholarship doesn’t matter because you don’t like the motives of the people who exposed it, or because some other forms of scholarship may also contain nonsense. If certain fields of study cannot reliably differentiate between real scholarship and noxious bloviating, they become deeply suspect. And if they are so invested in overcoming injustice that they are willing to embrace rank cruelty as long as it is presented in the right kind of progressive jargon, they are worsening the problems they purport to address.