Feyerabend and Scientific Values: Tightrope-Walking Rationality by R.p. FarrellFeyerabend and Scientific Values: Tightrope-Walking Rationality by R.p. Farrell

Feyerabend and Scientific Values: Tightrope-Walking Rationality

byR.p. Farrell

Paperback | December 9, 2010

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Every philosopher of science, and every student of the philosophy of science, has heard of Paul Feyerabend: the iconoclast who supposedly asserted that science is not rational, nor objective, but is characterised by anarchism, relativism, subjectivism and power. In this book it is argued that this picture of Feyerabend is false. Though Feyerabend was an iconoclast, his destructive philosophy was also creative. Feyerabend was deeply critical of a particular theory of scientific rationality, herein labelled 'Rationalism' - characterised as the algorithmic application of universal, necessary, atemporal rules - but he did not completely reject the idea of scientific rationality. It is argued that Feyerabend implicitly supported an alternative theory of rationality, herein labelled tightrope-walking rationality, characterised as the context-sensitive balancing of inherently irreconcilable values.
The first half of the book deals with the entrenched misunderstandings of Feyerabend's philosophy that have arisen through a lack of appreciation of the target of Feyerabend's criticisms. The second half of the book brings together the positive elements to be found in Feyerabend's work, and presents these elements as a coherent alternative conception of scientific rationality.
This book is of interest to all philosophers of science, students of the philosophy of science, and anyone interested in science and the rationality of science. It constitutes the first book-length study of Feyerabend's post-1970 philosophy and will be an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to understand the views of one of the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century.
Title:Feyerabend and Scientific Values: Tightrope-Walking RationalityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:259 pages, 23.5 × 15.5 × 0.1 inPublished:December 9, 2010Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9048163099

ISBN - 13:9789048163090

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Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction. 1: Feyerabend's Reductio ad Absurdum of 'Rationalist' Philosophies. 1.1. Introduction. 1.2. Feyerabends Conception of 'Rationalist' Philosophy. 1.3. Feyerabend's Reductio. 1.4. Feyerabend, Galileo and Rationalist Philosophies. 1.5. Feyerabends Rhetoric: Propaganda, Irrationality and Subjective Wishes. 2: Feyerabend, Lakatos and Anarchism. 2.1. Introduction. 2.2. Feyerabends Reductio of Lakatos's MSRP. 2.3. First Steps Towards a Positive Alternative Account of Rationality. 2.4. Conclusion. 3: Feyerabend's Incommensurability and the Pragmatic Theory of Observation. 3.1. Introduction. 3.2. Feyerabend's Incommensurability as Formal Incommensurability 3.3. Responses to Feyerabend's Incommensurability. 3.4. Feyerabend's Commensurability. 3.5. Conclusion. 4: Feyerabend's Relativism. 4.1. Introduction. 4.2. Realism and Relativism. 4.3. Feyerabend's Changing Attitudes Towards Relativism. 4.4. Quantum Physics and Complementarity. 4.5. Quantum Physics and the Theoretical/Empirical Dichotomy of Traditions. 4.6. Conclusion. 5: Feyerabend and Pluralism. 5.1. Introduction. 5.2. Popper and Empirical Content. 5.3. Relevant and Irrelevant Potential Falsifiers. 5.4. Basic Statements and Initial Conditions. 5.5. Rival Theories and the Duhem Thesis. 5.6. Conclusion. 6: Popper, Methodological Pluralism and Epistemic Values. 6.1. Introduction. 6.2. Popper's Axiological Normativity. 6.3. Feyerabend's Axiological Normativity. 6.4. Feyerabend as a Comprehensively Critical Popperian. 6.5. Feyerabend's 7: Kuhn on Paradigms, Rules and Values. 7.1. Introduction. 7.2. Some Confusions in Kuhn's Philosophy. 7.3. The Importance of Scientific Values. 7.4. Conclusion. 8: Tightrope-Walking Rationality: Feyerabend's Metanarrative. 8.1. Introduction. 8.2. Consolations for the Specialist. 8.3. Feyerabend's Two Argumentative Chains. 8.4. Theoretical/Abstract Versus Empirical Traditions. 8.5. Values-Based Rationality. 8.6. Feyerabend: Postmodernist or Tightrope-Walking Rationalist. 8.7. Conclusion. 9: Feyerabend and World-Views. 9.1. Introduction. 9.2. Non-Reductive Metaphysical World-Views. 9.3. Feyerabend and World-Views. 9.4. Conclusion. References. Index.