Paul Feyerabend

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Paul Feyerabend

Postby hyksos on March 13th, 2020, 10:23 pm 

Does anyone here know who Paul Feyerabend is?

If yes, have you read any of his writings?
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Re: Paul Feyerabend

Postby Forest_Dump on March 14th, 2020, 6:45 am 

Yes, a bunch of years ago I read his book "Against Method". There are some good points there.
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Re: Paul Feyerabend

Postby TheVat on March 14th, 2020, 9:44 am 

He favored methodological anarchy. Sometimes that's what is needed for knowledge to advance. I liked his attack on the consistency criterion in AM.
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Re: Paul Feyerabend

Postby hyksos on March 14th, 2020, 11:41 am 

I am not a huge fan of Feyerabend. I might even go as far as to say that I hate him. I believe he was a professor at UC Berkeley during the height of the "radical 1960s".

The core of Feyerabend's magnum opus, 'Against Method', is that science has no identifiable methodological criteria, and that the Scientific Method exists in a state of perpetual epistemic anarchy.

It seems to me that Feyerabend has been "absorbed" into popular consciousness by kind of seeping into it by cultural osmosis. There were likely very far-left university departments (outside of California) who weaponized Feyerabend, in a giant culturo-intellectual war against science. Just to wet the appetites of anyone here, Feyerabend felt some weird need to give lip service to Big Bang denial in the back chapters of his book. Why he chose to do this is completely mysterious.


I have already written a long article about him and his book that is not forgiving. I don't know where to share it.
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Re: Paul Feyerabend

Postby TheVat on March 14th, 2020, 12:01 pm 

Well, you did open a thread about him. If it's more than 2000 words, a link to something like a wordpress page is better, with an abstract on our thread. Wordpress offers free article space if it's just text, iirc. Medium.com is also pretty easy, and free.
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Re: Paul Feyerabend

Postby Forest_Dump on March 14th, 2020, 12:06 pm 

Feyerabend and Kuhn have been called the more prominent anarchic philosopher of science because both made solid contributions. I suppose there would be lots of other aspects of their lives and thoughts that many (including me) do not like or agree with. Nonetheless, there is also (IMHO) at least some things that I think are undeniable. Personally, the tendency towards "ossification" and dogmatization that comes from a rigid adherence to the "scientific method" (whatever that really is) is a key point made by Feyerabend, whatever his politics, religion, choice of clothing style or thoughts on music. On that basis alone I think he needs to be remembered and cited.
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