Farewell to Reason

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Verso, 1987 - Philosophy - 327 pages
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Farewell to Reason offers a vigorous challenge to the scientific rationalism that underlies Western ideals of “progress” and “development,” whose damaging social and ecological consequences are now widely recognized.

For all their variety in theme and occasion, the essays in this book share a consistent philosophical purpose. Whether discussing Greek art and thought, vindicating the church's battle with Galileo, exploring the development of quantum physics or exposing the dogmatism of Karl Popper, Feyerabend defends a relativist and historicist notion of the sciences. The appeal to reason, he insists, is empty, and must be replaced by a notion of science that subordinates it to the needs of citizens and communities.

Provocative, polemical and rigorously argued, Farewell to Reason will infuriate Feyerabend's critics and delight his many admirers.
 

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Farewell to reason

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Feyerabend's previous popular work, Against Method (1975), established him as an outspoken, controversial critic of the scientific and philosophical establishments. This collection of essays attacks ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Notes on Relativism
19
Reason Xenophanes and the Homeric Gods
90
Knowledge and the Role of Theories
105
Creativity
128
Progress in Philosophy the Sciences and the Arts
143
Comments on Poppers Excursions into Philosophy
162
Machs Theory of Research and its Relation to Einstein
192
Some Observations on Aristotles Theory of Mathematics and of the Continuum
219
Galileo and the Tyranny of Truth
247
Putnam on Incommensurability
265
Cultural Pluralism or Brave New Monotony?
273
Farewell to Reason
280
Index
320
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About the author (1987)

Paul Feyerabend was Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley, and Professor of the Philosophy of Science at the Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich. He died in 1994. His books include Philosophical Papers, Farewell to Reason, and Against Method.

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