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Feyerabend, Paul Karl (1924–94)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Q114-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved August 18, 2022, from

Article Summary

Feyerabend was an Austrian philosopher of science who spent most of his academic career in the USA. He was an early, persistent and influential critic of the positivist interpretation of science. Though his views have some affinities with those of Thomas Kuhn, they are in important ways more radical. Not only did Feyerabend become famous (or notorious) for advocating ’epistemological anarchism’ – the position that there is no such thing as scientific method, so that in advancing scientific research ‘anything goes’ – he also argued that the scientific outlook is itself just one approach to dealing with the world, an approach that is not self-evidently superior in all respects to other approaches. This radicalism led to his being widely attacked as an irrationalist though perhaps he might better be seen as a sceptic in the humane and tolerant tradition of Sextus Empiricus and Montaigne.

Citing this article:
Williams, Michael. Feyerabend, Paul Karl (1924–94), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Q114-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2022 Routledge.

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