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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.
  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. 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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  5. Paul Feyerabend, Killing Time.J. McCarney - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  6. 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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  7. Feyerabend En Serio.G. Zanotti - forthcoming - Studium.
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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.
  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. El Relativismo de Paul Karl Feyerabend.Teresa Gargiulo - 2016 - Ideas Y Valores 65 (160):95-120.
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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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.
  25. ‘“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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. Relativism in Feyerabend's Later Writings.Martin Kusch - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:106-113.
  33. Feyerabend and Popper on Theory Proliferation and Anomaly Import: On the Compatibility of Theoretical Pluralism and Critical Rationalism.Karim Bschir - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):24-55.
    A fundamental tenet of Paul Feyerabend’s pluralistic view of science has it that theory proliferation, that is, the availability of theoretical alternatives, is of crucial importance for the detection of anomalies in established theories. Paul Hoyningen-Huene calls this the Anomaly Importation Thesis, according to which anomalies are imported, as it were, into well-established theories from competing alternatives. This article pursues two major objectives: (a) to work out the systematic details of Feyerabend’s ideas on theory proliferation and anomaly import as they (...)
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  34. El Realismo Normativo de Paul Karl Feyerabend y Su Defensa de la Metafísica.María Teresa Gargiulo - 2015 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 23:182-212.
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  35. Physics and Philosophy: Volume 4: Philosophical Papers.Stefano Gattei & Joseph Agassi (eds.) - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
    This collection of the writings of Paul Feyerabend is focused on his philosophy of quantum physics, the hotbed of the key issues of his most debated ideas. Written between 1948 and 1970, these writings come from his first and most productive period. These early works are important for two main reasons. First, they document Feyerabend's deep concern with the philosophical implications of quantum physics and its interpretations. These ideas were paid less attention in the following two decades. Second, the writings (...)
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  36. What’s so Great About Feyerabend? Against Method, Forty Years On: Paul Feyerabend: Against Method, 4th Edition. London: Verso, 2010, 336 Pp, $24.95.Ian James Kidd - 2015 - Metascience 24 (3):343-349.
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  37. A Tale of Three Theories: Feyerabend and Popper on Progress and the Aim of Science.Luca Tambolo - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:33-41.
    In this paper, three theories of progress and the aim of science are discussed: the theory of progress as increasing explanatory power, advocated by Popper in The logic of scientific discovery ; the theory of progress as approximation to the truth, introduced by Popper in Conjectures and refutations ; the theory of progress as a steady increase of competing alternatives, which Feyerabend put forward in the essay “Reply to criticism. Comments on Smart, Sellars and Putnam” and defended as late as (...)
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  38. A Dialogure on Relativism: Rorty and Feyerabend.María Aurelia Di Berardino - 2014 - Contemporary Pragmatism 11 (1):57-68.
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  39. La Crítica de Paul Karl Feyerabend Al Modelo Neo-Positivista Del Significado.María Teresa Gargiulo de Vázquez - 2014 - Arbor 190 (769):a168.
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  40. Review of Paul Feyerabend, The Tyranny of Science. Edited by Eric Oberheim. Cambridge: Polity Press 2011. Pp. Xii + 153. [REVIEW]Daniel Kuby - 2014 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:370-375.
  41. Pliability and Resistance: Feyerabendian Insights Into Sophisticated Realism.Luca Tambolo - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):197-213.
    In this paper we focus on two claims, put forward by Feyerabend in his later writings , which constitute the metaphysical core of his view of scientific inquiry. The first, that we call the pliability thesis, is the claim that the world can be described by indefinitely many conceptual systems, none of them enjoying a privileged status. The second, that we call the resistance thesis, is the claim that the pliability of the world is limited, i.e., not all the different (...)
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  42. A Pluralist Challenge to 'Integrative Medicine': Feyerabend and Popper on the Cognitive Value of Alternative Medicine.Ian Kidd - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):392–400.
    This paper is a critique of ‘integrative medicine’ as an ideal of medical progress on the grounds that it fails to realise the cognitive value of alternative medicine. After a brief account of the cognitive value of alternative medicine, I outline the form of ‘integrative medicine’ defended by the late Stephen Straus, former director of the US National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Straus’ account is then considered in the light of Zuzana Parusnikova’s recent criticism of ‘integrative medicine’ and (...)
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  43. Is Naturalism Bleak? A Reply to Holland and Cottingham.Ian James Kidd - 2013 - Environmental Values 22 (6):689-702.
    Although Cottingham and Holland make a persuasive case for the claim that it is difficult to situate a meaningful life within a Darwinian naturalistic cosmology, this paper argues that their case should be modified in response to the apparent fact that certain persons seem genuinely not to experience the ‘bleakness’ that they describe. Although certain of these cases will reflect an incomplete appreciation of the existential implications of Darwinian naturalism, at least some of those cases may be genuine. The resulting (...)
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  44. Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, 4th Ed. (London: Verso, 2010). 296, Price $22.95 Pb. Paul Feyerabend, The Tyranny of Science, Ed. Eric Oberheim (London: Polity, 2011). 153, Price $13.18 Pb. [REVIEW]Ian James Kidd - 2013 - Philosophical Investigations 36 (1):90-94.
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  45. Feyerabend on Science and Education.Ian James Kidd - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (3):407-422.
    This article offers a sympathetic interpretation of Paul Feyerabend's remarks on science and education. I present a formative episode in the development of his educational ideas—the ‘Berkeley experience'—and describe how it affected his views on the place of science within modern education. It emerges that Feyerabend arrived at a conception of education closely related to that of Michael Oakeshott and Martin Heidegger—that of education as ‘releasement’. Each of those three figures argued that the purpose of education was not to induct (...)
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  46. Feyerabend on the Ineffability of Reality.Ian James Kidd - 2013 - In Asa Kasher & Jeanine Diller (eds.), Models of God and Other Ultimate Realities. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 849-860..
    This paper explores the account of ‘ultimate reality’ developed in the later philosophy of Paul Feyerabend. The paper has five main parts, this introduction being the first. Part two surveys Feyerabend’s later work, locates it relative to his more familiar earlier work in the philosophy of science, and identifies the motivations informing his interest in ‘ultimate reality’. Part three offers an account of Feyerabend’s later metaphysics, focusing on the account given in his final book, Conquest of Abundance. Part four then (...)
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  47. Feyerabend, Feminism, and Philosophy.Noretta Koertge - 2013 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1):139-141.
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  48. REVIEW: Paul Feyerabend, The Tyranny of Science. [REVIEW]Daniel Rozell - 2013 - Spontaneous Generations 7 (1):97-99.
    A review of Paul Feyerabend's The Tyranny of Science.
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  49. Philosophy Today.Paul Feyerabend - 2012 - Teaching Philosophy Today:137-145.
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  50. Feyerabend, Pseudo-Dionysius, and the Ineffability of Reality.Ian Kidd - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (2):365-377.
    This paper explores the influence of the fifth-century Christian Neoplatonist Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (Denys) on the twentieth-century philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend. I argue that the later Feyerabend took from Denys a metaphysical claim—the ‘doctrine of ineffability’—intended to support epistemic pluralism. The paper has five parts. Part one introduces Denys and Feyerabend’s common epistemological concern to deny the possibility of human knowledge of ultimate reality. Part two examines Denys’ arguments for the ‘ineffability’ of God as presented in On the Divine (...)
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