Science in a Free Society

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9780860910084: Science in a Free Society
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No study in the philosophy of science created such controversy in the seventies as Paul Feyerabend’s Against Method. In this work, Feyerabend reviews that controversy, and extends his critique beyond the problem of scientific rules and methods, to the social function and direction of science today.

In the first part of the book, he launches a sustained and irreverent attack on the prestige of science in the West. The lofty authority of the “expert” claimed by scientists is, he argues, incompatible with any genuine democracy, and often merely serves to conceal entrenched prejudices and divided opinions with the scientific community itself. Feyerabend insists that these can and should be subjected to the arbitration of the lay population, whose closes interests they constantly affect—as struggles over atomic energy programs so powerfully attest.

Calling for far greater diversity in the content of education to facilitate democratic decisions over such issues, Feyerabend recounts the origin and development of his own ideas—successively engaged by Brecht, Ehrenhaft, Popper, Mill and Lakatos—in a spirited intellectual self-portrait.

Science in a Free Society is a striking intervention into one of the most topical debates in contemporary culture and politics.

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About the Author:

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.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Sydney has one opera house, one arts centre, one zoo, one harbour, but two philosophy departments. The reason for this abundance is not any overwhelming demand for philosophy in the antipodes but the fact that philosophy has party lines, that different party lines don’t always get on with each other, and that in Sydney one has decided to keep peace by institutional separation.

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Feyerabend, Paul K.
Published by New Left Books (1978)
ISBN 10: 0860910083 ISBN 13: 9780860910084
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