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Summary Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994) was an influential philosopher of science who challenged orthodoxy in the philosophy of science throughout his career.  Following studies in Vienna, he worked for a time in the late 1950's in Britain before moving to the University of California at Berkeley.  Though he remained attached to Berkeley throughout the remainder of his career, he held a range of visiting positions, and in later years also held a position at the ETH in Zurich.  In early work, Feyerabend subjected the logical empiricist account of meaning to criticism, arguing for meaning variance and the incommensurability of theories.  He was perhaps most famous for his book Against Method in which he argues that all rules of scientific method may be legitimately violated in specific circumstances.
Key works Feyerabend's most famous book is Against Method.  Later books include  Science in a Free SocietyFarewell to ReasonConquest of Abundance and  The Tyranny of Science.  Many of his most important papers have been collected in the three volumes of his philosophical papers Feyerabend 1965, Feyerabend 1981, Feyerabend 1999.  Several books devoted to Feyerabend have been published, including Farrell 2003, Oberheim 2006, Preston 1997, as well as a recent edited collection of essays Preston et al 2000.  Feyerabend's autobiography, Killing Time, is also to be recommended.
Introductions Paul Hoyningen-Huene's obituary of Feyerabend contains general remarks on Feyerabend's philosophical work, as well as his life and career (see Hoyningen-Huene 1994).  For a more detailed overview of Feyerabend's career and the development of his ideas, see John Preston's entry on Feyerabend in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (see Preston 2008).
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  1. Feyerabend on the Quantum Theory of Measurement: A Reassessment.Daniel Kuby & Patrick Fraser - manuscript
    In 1957, Feyerabend delivered a paper titled “On the quantum‐theory of measurement” at the Colston Research Symposium in Bristol to sketch a completion of von Neumann’s measurement scheme without collapse, using only unitary quantum dynamics and well‐motivated statistical assumptions about macroscopic quantum systems. Feyerabend’s paper has been recognized as an early contribution to quantum measurement, anticipating certain aspects of decoherence. Our paper reassesses the physical and philosophical content of Feyerabend’s contribution, detailing the technical steps as well as its overall philosophical (...)
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  2. Book Review: Paul Feyerabend: Ein Philosoph Aus Wien, Edited by F. Stadler and KR Fischer. [REVIEW]Joseph Agassi - forthcoming - Philosophy of the Social Sciences.
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  3. Quelle épistémologie historique ? Kuhn, Feyerabend, Hacking et l'école bachelardienne.Anastasios Brenner - forthcoming - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale.
    Pendant un demi-siècle, la méthode appropriée en philosophie des sciences dans la tradition continentale était l'étude historique ; dans la tradition anglosaxonne, l'analyse logique. Ce clivage au sein du discours philosophique s'est grandement estompé de nos jours. D'une part, Kuhn a défendu la pertinence philosophique de l'histoire des sciences. D'autre part, Vuillemin et Gilles-Gaston Granger ont promu l'étude de la philosophie analytique et l'emploi de ses techniques logiques. Le rapprochement des deux traditions a pris encore une nouvelle tournure dans les (...)
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  4. Ehrenhaft’s Experiments on Magnetic Monopoles: Reconsidering the Feyerabend-Ehrenhaft Connection.Matteo Collodel - forthcoming - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science:1-26.
    This paper introduces and reproduces a document from Feyerabend’s Nachlass including: (i) Feyerabend’s 1967 tentative translation into English of an original German typescript reporting the lecture notes of an academic course on magnetic monopoles delivered by physicist Felix Ehrenhaft (1879-1952) at the University of Vienna in the 1947 summer semester; and (ii) Feyerabend’s memoir focusing on Ehrenhaft in postwar Vienna.In addition to making available to a larger audience Ehrenhaft’s lectures on a highly controversial topic, the publication of Feyerabend’s typescript offers (...)
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  5. Paul Feyerabend and the Dialectical Character of Quantum Mechanics: A Lesson in Philosophical Dadaism.Rory Kent - forthcoming - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science:1-17.
    In 1966, Paul Feyerabend published a short essay on the relation between dialectical materialist philosophy and Niels Bohr’s quantum theory, in which he develops several provocative ideas about the relations between science, ideology and society. I use Feyerabend’s essay to construct an account of his ‘Dadaist’ philosophical methodology. I argue that Dadaism is an ironic form of intellectual seriousness, such that the Dadaist is prepared to take any idea or practice seriously as a potentially valuable contribution to collective human thought (...)
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  6. Karim Bschir and Jamie Shaw (Editors). Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. [REVIEW]Rory Kent - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
  7. Feyerabend, Science, and Scientism.Ian James Kidd - forthcoming - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    I argue that we can profitably understanding Feyerabend’s work in at least the latter half of his career in terms of a series of experiments with ways of conceptualising and criticising scientism, under the aegis of a ‘critique of scientific reason’. The critique of science’s self-understanding was the more sophisticated and successful, while the critique of scientific modernity was more erratic and less effective, due mainly to the failure to take up the necessary resources.
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  8. Feyerabend on the Quantum Theory of Measurement: A Reassessment.Daniel Kuby & Patrick Fraser - forthcoming - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science:1-27.
    In 1957, Feyerabend delivered a paper titled ‘On the Quantum-Theory of Measurement’ at the Colston Research Symposium in Bristol to sketch a completion of von Neumann's measurement scheme without c...
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  9. Paul Feyerabend, Killing Time.J. McCarney - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  10. Preface to a New Translation of Paul Feyerabend's Science in a Free Society.John Preston - forthcoming - In Science in a Free Society. Esm (اسم).
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  11. Beyond Method: The Diatribe Between Feyerabend and Popper Over the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.Flavio Del Santo - forthcoming - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science:1-18.
    Karl Popper and Paul Feyerabend were among the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century. Extensive studies have been dedicated to the development of their controversial relationship, which saw Feyerabend turning from a student and supporter of Popper to one of his harshest critics. Yet, it is not as well known that the rift between Popper and Feyerabend arose mainly in the context of their studies on the foundations of quantum mechanics, which has been the main subject of (...)
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  12. Feyerabend En Serio.G. Zanotti - forthcoming - Studium.
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  13. Popper and His Popular Critics: Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend and Imre Lakatos: Appendix.Joseph Agassi - 2022 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 59 (4):181-188.
    Popper’s popular critics – Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Lakatos – replace his older, Wittgenstein-style critics, now defunct. His new critics played with the idea of criticism as beneficial, in vain search of variants of these that could better appeal to the public. Some of their criticism of Popper is valid but marginal for the dispute about rationality. He was Fallibilist; they hedged about it. He viewed learning from experience as learning from error; they were unclear about it. His view resembles Freud’s (...)
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  14. Pandemics, policy, and pluralism: A Feyerabend-inspired perspective on COVID-19.Karim Bschir & Simon Lohse - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-26.
    We analyse insufficient epistemic pluralism and associated problems in science-based policy advice during the COVID-19 pandemic drawing on specific arguments in Paul Feyerabend’s philosophy. Our goal is twofold: to deepen our understanding of the epistemic shortcomings in science-based policy during the pandemic, and to assess the merits and problems of Feyerabend’s arguments for epistemic pluralism as well as their relevance for policy-making. We discuss opportunities and challenges of integrating a plurality of viewpoints from within and outside science into policy advice (...)
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  15. Karim Bschir and Jamie Shaw, Eds. Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021. Pp. Xi+256. $99.99 (Cloth). IBSN 978-1-108-47199-2. [REVIEW]Rory Kent - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (1):308-311.
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  16. Feyerabend on Art and Science.Chiara Ambrosio - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  17. Feyerabend's General Theory of Scientific Change.Hakob Barseghyan - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  18. Matthew Brown : Against Expertise : A Lesson From Feyerabend's Science in a Free Society?Matthew Brown - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  19. The Coherence of Feyerabend's Pluralist Realism.Hasok Chang - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  20. O anarquismo e o estímulo à inovação científica.Bruno Camilo de Oliveira - 2021 - Inovação Na Educação Superior Brasileira: Metodologia E Casos.
    CAMILO, Bruno. O anarquismo e o estímulo à inovação científica. In: SOUZA, Poliana Mendes de. (org.). Inovação na educação superior brasileira: metodologia e casos. Recife: Even3 Publicações, 2021. p. 57-73. -/- Este trabalho, inserido na subárea da filosofia da ciência, possui como tema principal o “anarquismo metodológico” tal como é apresentado pelo filósofo da ciência Paul Feyerabend. O objetivo geral é apresentar o modo como o “anarquismo metodológico”, tal como exposto em Feyerabend (2007), pode contribuir para resolver o problema da (...)
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  21. Auf dem Weg zur kritischen Rechtslehre?: Naturrecht, Moralphilosophie und Eigentumstheorie in Kants "Naturrecht Feyerabend".Dieter Hüning, Stefan Klingner & Gianluca Sadun Bordoni (eds.) - 2021 - Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV.
    In recent decades, Kant's philosophy of law has increasingly moved into the focus of moral-philosophical discussions. In this context, the "Naturrecht Feyerabend" is of particular importance. On the one hand, it is the only surviving transcription of the lectures on natural law that Kant gave twelve times between 1767 and 1788; on the other hand, it is based on his lectures in the summer semester of 1784 and thus provides important evidence of Kant's reflections during an important phase in the (...)
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  22. Feyerabend, Science, and Scientism.Ian James Kidd - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  23. Feyerabend's Reevaluation of Scientific Practice: Quantum Mechanics, Realism and Niels Bohr.Daniel Kuby - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press. pp. 132-156.
    The aim of this paper is to give an account of the change in Feyerabend's philosophy that made him abandon methodological monism and embrace methodological pluralism. In this paper I offer an explanation in terms of a simple model of 'change of belief through evidence'. My main claim is that the evidence triggering this belief revision can be identified in Feyerabend's technical work in the interpretation of quantum mechanics, in particular his reevaluation of Bohr's contribution to it. This highlights an (...)
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  24. Epistemological Anarchism Meets Epistemological Voluntarism : Feyerabend's Against Method and van Fraassen's the Empirical Stance.Martin Kusch - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  25. The Cosmological Divergent Proliferation in Feyerabend's Pluralism.Deivide Garcia da Silva Oliveira - 2021 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 25 (3).
    In this paper, I argue that Feyerabendian proliferation is best understood as cosmologically divergent proliferation. The divergent aspect is inspired by a Darwinian background, and it affects other elements of Feyerabend’s philosophy, as much as the way his pluralism advances, like the cosmological dimension. This cosmological item influences not only how theories should proliferate - divergently - but also why they must be tenaciously retained and compared. On this account, we underline Feyerabend’s view that the principle of proliferation is never (...)
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  26. Duhem’s Thesis, Feyerabend’s Methodological Anarchism and the Question About the Justification of Epistemic Change.Edgar Serna Ramírez - 2021 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 18:173-192.
    Duhem-Quine’s thesis provides plausibility for Feyerabend’s methodological anarchism by showing that the empirical refutation of a theoretical system is as chimerical as its verification. Grünbaum argues against this that such a thesis is untenable. They both agree in the formulation of Duhem’s argument as it was exposed by Quine. However, the exegesis carried out by Quinn, Laudan and Ariew makes it clear that it is a mistake to identify the Duhem-Quine thesis with the Duhem thesis. I argue that, if this (...)
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  27. Feyerabend Never Was an Eliminative Materialist : Feyerabend's Meta-Philosophy and the Mind-Body Problem.Jamie Shaw - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  28. Introduction: Paul Feyerabend's Philosophy in the 21st Century.Jamie Shaw & Karim Bschir - 2021 - In Karim Bschir & Jamie Shaw (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  29. Decision-Based Epistemology: Sketching a Systematic Framework of Feyerabend’s Metaphilosophy.Daniel Kuby - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3271-3299.
    In this paper I defend the claim that Paul Feyerabend held a robust metaphilosophical position for most of his philosophical career. This position I call Decision-Based Epistemology and reconstruct it in terms of three key components: a form of epistemic voluntarism concerning the justification of philosophical positions and a behaviorist account of philosophical beliefs, which allows him to cast normative arguments concerning philosophical beliefs in scientific methodology, such as realism, in terms of means-ends relations. I then introduce non-naturalist and naturalist (...)
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  30. The Relativistic Legacy of Kuhn and Feyerabend.Howard Sankey - 2020 - In M. Kusch (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 379-387.
    Relativism in the philosophy of science is widely associated with the work of Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend. Kuhn and Feyerabend espoused views about conceptual change and variation of scientific method that have apparent relativistic implications. Both held that scientific theories or paradigms may be incommensurable due to semantic variation. Two ways that truth may be relative because of semantic incommensurability will be distinguished. Davidson’s criticism of the idea of an untranslatable language will be discussed, as well as a response (...)
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  31. The Problem of the Empirical Basis in the Popperian Tradition: Popper, Bartley, and Feyerabend.Jamie Shaw - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (2):524-561.
  32. Pluralism and Anarchism in Quantum Physics: Paul Feyerabend's Writings on Quantum Physics in Relation to His General Philosophy of Science.Marij van Strien - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 80:72-81.
    This paper aims to show that the development of Feyerabend’s philosophical ideas in the 1950s and 1960s largely took place in the context of debates on quantum mechanics. In particular, he developed his influential arguments for pluralism in science in discussions with the quantum physicist David Bohm, who had developed an alternative approach to quantum physics which (in Feyerabend’s perception) was met with a dogmatic dismissal by some of the leading quantum physicists. I argue that Feyerabend’s arguments for theoretical pluralism (...)
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  33. Mach and Relativity Theory: ANeverending Story in HOPOSia?Gereon Wolters - 2019 - In Friedrich Stadler (ed.), Ernst Mach – Life, Work, Influence. Springer Verlag.
    Michael Ende’s bestseller/The Neverending Story/is set in a magical world called “Fantastica”. In Fantastica, there are heroes and villains, just as in the world of universities and academies. There is even an entity, or better: a non-entity of shaky existence, das Nichts, the Nothingness – loved by some philosophers like Martin Heidegger. In Fantastica Nothingness is able to create trouble and destruction. The same is true in the land of academic history and philosophy of science – let us call it (...)
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  34. Feyerabend, Pluralism, and Parapsychology.Ian James Kidd - 2018 - Bulletin of the Parapsychological Association 5 (1):5-9.
    Feyerabend is well-known as a pluralist, and notorious for his defences of, and sympathetic references to, heterodox subjects, such as parapsychology. Focusing on the latter, I ask how we should understand the relationship between the pluralism and the defences, drawing on Marcello Truzzi's and Martin Gardner's remarks on Feyerabend along the way.
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  35. Reawakening to Wonder: Wittgenstein, Feyerabend, and Scientism.Ian James Kidd - 2018 - In Jonathan Beale & Ian James Kidd (eds.), Wittgenstein and Scientism. London: Routledge. pp. 101-115.
    My aim in this chapter is to reconstruct Feyerabend’s anti-scientism by comparing it with the similar critiques of one of his main philosophical influences – Ludwig Wittgenstein. I argue that they share a common conception of scientism that gathers around a concern that it erodes a sense of wonder or mystery required for a full appreciation of human existence – a sense that Feyerabend, like Wittgenstein, characterised in terms of the ‘mystical’.
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  36. Carnap, Feyerabend, and the Pragmatic Theory of Observation.Daniel Kuby - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (2):432-470.
    Paul Feyerabend once made a remark to the effect that his pragmatic theory of observation can be traced back to proposals put forward by leading Logical Empiricists during the height of the protocol sentence debate. In this paper I want to vindicate the systematic side of Feyerabend’s remark and show that a pragmatic theory of observation can in fact be found in Rudolf Carnap’s writings of 1932. I first proceed to dispel a misunderstanding concerning the term “pragmatic” raised by Thomas (...)
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  37. The Abundant World: Paul Feyerabend's Metaphysics of Science.Matthew J. Brown - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:142-154.
    The goal of this paper is to provide an interpretation of Feyerabend's metaphysics of science as found in late works like Conquest of Abundance and Tyranny of Science. Feyerabend's late metaphysics consists of an attempt to criticize and provide a systematic alternative to traditional scientific realism, a package of views he sometimes referred to as “scientific materialism.” Scientific materialism is objectionable not only on metaphysical grounds, nor because it provides a poor ground for understanding science, but because it implies problematic (...)
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  38. Introduction: Reappraising Paul Feyerabend.Matthew J. Brown & Ian James Kidd - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:1-8.
    This volume is devoted to a reappraisal of the philosophy of Paul Feyerabend. It has four aims. The first is to reassess his already well-known work from the 1960s and 1970s in light of contemporary developments in the history and philosophy of science. The second is to explore themes in his neglected later work, including recently published and previously unavailable writings. The third is to assess the contributions that Feyerabend can make to contemporary debate, on topics such as perspectivism, realism, (...)
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  39. El relativismo de Paul Karl Feyerabend.Teresa Gargiulo - 2016 - Ideas Y Valores 65 (160):95-120.
    Los críticos que han interpretado el pensamiento de Feyerabend como un relativismo radical no hacen justicia a su intencionalidad, y se muestran incapaces de comprender la unidad de su obra, en particular, su abandono posterior de los ideales relativis-tas. Se busca distinguir las diversas posiciones de Feyerabend frente al relativismo y exponer su reducción al absurdo de las nociones de la ciencia propias del positivis-mo lógico y del racionalismo crítico. Así mismo, se plantea cómo Feyerabend, ante la ausencia de un (...)
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  40. Feyerabend, Truth, and Relativisms: Footnotes to the Italian Debate.Stefano Gattei - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:87-95.
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  41. Feyerabend, Truth, and Relativisms: Footnotes to the Italian Debate.Stefano Gattei - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:87-95.
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  42. Reasons for Relativism: Feyerabend on the ‘Rise of Rationalism’ in Ancient Greece.Helmut Heit - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:70-78.
  43. ‘“What’s So Great About Science?” Feyerabend on the Ideological Use and Abuse of Science.Ian James Kidd - 2016 - In Elena Aronova & Simone Turchetti (eds.), Science Studies during the Cold War and Beyond. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 55-76.
    It is very well known that from the late-1960s onwards Feyerabend began to radically challenge some deeply-held ideas about the history and methodology of the sciences. It is equally well known that, from around the same period, he also began to radically challenge wider claims about the value and place of the sciences within modern societies, for instance by calling for the separation of science and the state and by questioning the idea that the sciences served to liberate and ameliorate (...)
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  44. Feyerabend on Politics, Education, and Scientific Culture.Ian James Kidd - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:121-128.
    The purpose of this paper is to offer a sympathetic reconstruction of the political thought of Paul Feyerabend. Using a critical discussion of the idea of the ‘free society’ it is suggested that his political thought is best understood in terms of three thematic concerns – liberation, hegemony, and the authority of science – and that the political significance of those claims become clear when they are considered in the context of his educational views. It emerges that Feyerabend is best (...)
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  45. Why Did Feyerabend Defend Astrology? Integrity, Virtue, and the Authority of Science.Ian James Kidd - 2016 - Social Epistemology 30 (4):464-482.
    This paper explores the relationship between epistemic integrity, virtue, and authority by offering a virtue epistemological reading of the defences of non-scientific beliefs, practices, and traditions in the writings of Paul Feyerabend. I argue that there was a robust epistemic rationale for those defences and that it can inform contemporary reflection on the epistemic authority of the sciences. Two common explanations of the purpose of those defences are rejected as lacking textual support. A third “pluralist” reading is judged more persuasive, (...)
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  46. Was Feyerabend a Postmodernist?Ian James Kidd - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):55-68.
    ABSTRACTThis article asks whether the philosophy of Paul K. Feyerabend can be reasonably classified as postmodernist, a label applied to him by friends and foes alike. After describing some superficial similarities between the style and content of both Feyerabend’s and postmodernist writings, I offer three more robust characterisations of postmodernism in terms of relativism, ‘incredulity to metanarratives’, and ‘depthlessness’. It emerges that none of these characterisations offers a strong justification for classifying Feyerabend as ‘postmodern’ in any significant sense. Indeed, what (...)
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  47. Reappraising Feyerabend.Ian James Kidd & Matthew Brown - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:00-000.
    This volume is devoted to a reappraisal of the philosophy of Paul Feyerabend. It has four aims. The first is to reassess his already well-known work from the 1960s and 1970s in light of contemporary developments in the history and philosophy of science. The second is to explore themes in his neglected later work, including recently published and previously unavailable writings. The third is to assess the contributions that Feyerabend can make to contemporary debate, on topics such as perspectivism, realism, (...)
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  48. Studies on Paul Feyerabend's Philosophy: From Logical Empiricism to the Historical Turn in Philosophy of Science.Daniel Kuby - 2016 - Dissertation,
    The present article-based dissertation is a contribution to a historical and systematic recon- struction of Paul Feyerabend’s philosophy. Building on previous work on the same subject, this thesis continues a research effort exploring Feyerabend’s early ties to scientific philoso- phy, in particular Logical Empiricism and the Vienna Circle, as well as its continued effects on Feyerabend’s later philosophy. The main claim is that Feyerabend’s formative years in Vienna (1946-1955) happened in the context of scientific philosophy and that his early philosophi- (...)
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  49. Feyerabend's ‘The Concept of Intelligibility in Modern Physics’ (1948).Daniel Kuby - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:57–63.
    This essay introduces the transcription and translation of Paul Feyerabend's "Der Begriff der Verständlichkeit in der modernen Physik" [The concept of intelligibility in modern physics] (1948), which is an early essay written by Paul Feyerabend in 1948 on the topic of intelligibility (Verständlichkeit) and visualizability (Anschaulichkeit) of physical theories. The existence of such essay was likely. It is listed in his bibliography as his first publication. Yet the content of the essay was unknown, as no original or copy is extant (...)
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  50. Relativism in Feyerabend's Later Writings.Martin Kusch - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:106-113.
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