Analytic Philosophy

Philosophy of Science

Who was Paul Feyerabend?

Paul Feyerabend (1924–1994), who was a friend and colleague of Imre Lakatos (1922–1974), is famous for his anarchist view of science. He was born in Vienna, Austria, and served in the German army during World War II, sustaining a bullet to the spine. After the war, he studied at the London School of Economics, with Karl Popper (1902–1994) as his advisor. During this time he began a dialogue with Lakatos, taking a stand against Lakatos’ rationalist scientific project. But publication of this joint work was curtailed by Lakatos’ death. Feyerabend had a lifelong interest in theater and opera and taught at the University of California at Berkeley after 1958.

Feyerabend’s main writings include Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975), Science in a Free Society (1978), Realism, Rationalism and Scientific Method: Philosophical Papers, Volume 1 (1981), Problems of Empiricism: Philosophical Papers, Volume 2 (1981), and the recklessly titled Farewell to Reason (1987). His autobiography is Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend (1995).


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