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Paul Feyerabend Quotes

Austrian-Swiss philosopher and academic (b. 1924), Birth: 13-1-1924, Death: 11-2-1994 Paul Feyerabend Quotes
1.
Given any rule, however �fundamental� or �necessary� for science, there are always circumstances when it is advisable not only to ignore the rule, but to adopt its opposite.
Paul Feyerabend

2.
The only absolute truth is that there are no absolute truths.
Paul Feyerabend

3.
The only principle that does not inhibit progress is: anything goes.
Paul Feyerabend

4.
Knowledge is not a series of self-consistent theories that converges toward an ideal view; it is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible (and perhaps even incommensurable) alternatives, each single theory, each fairy tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others into greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition, to the development of our consciousness.
Paul Feyerabend

5.
The separation of state and church must be complemented by the separation of state and science, that most recent, most aggressive, and most dogmatic religious institution.
Paul Feyerabend

Similar Authors: Ralph Waldo Emerson Swami Vivekananda Noam Chomsky Bertrand Russell Ayn Rand Michel de Montaigne Thomas Carlyle Jim Rohn John Milton William James Napoleon Hill Terence McKenna Voltaire Aldous Huxley Francis Bacon
6.
There is no "scientific worldview" just as there is no uniform enterprise "science" - except in the minds of metaphysicians, school masters, and scientists blinded by the achievements of their own particular niche... There is no objective principle that could direct us away from the supermarket "religion" or the supermarket "art" toward the more modern, and much more expensive supermarket "science." Besides, the search for such guidance would be in conflict with the idea of individual responsibility which allegedly is an important ingredient of a "rational" or scientific age.
Paul Feyerabend

7.
Arguments hardly affect the faithful- their beliefs have an entirely different foundation.
Paul Feyerabend

8.
My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits.
Paul Feyerabend

Quote Topics by Paul Feyerabend: Science Progress Facts Ideas Views War Reality Men Mean Law Principles Events Trying Democracy Philosophy Self Tyrants Historical Limits Past Research Theory Knowledge Way Opposites Faithful Religious Different Attitude People
9.
The best education consists in immunizing people against systematic attempts at education.
Paul Feyerabend

10.
The world we inhabit is abundant beyond our wildest imagination. There are trees, dreams, sunrises; there are thunderstorms, shadows, rivers; there are wars, flea bites, love affairs; there are the lives of people, Gods, entire galaxies. The simplest human action varies from one person and occasion to the next-how else would we recognize our friends only from their gait, posture, voice, and divine their changing moods? Only a tiny fraction of this abundance affects our minds. This is a blessing, not a drawback.
Paul Feyerabend

11.
Traditions are neither good nor bad, they simply are... Rationality is not an arbiter of traditions, it is itself a tradition or an aspect of a tradition.
Paul Feyerabend

12.
Yes, the academic world is screwed up, and there is nothing you can do about it. But don't worry about that. Just do what you want. If you know what you want to do and advocate for it, no one will put any energy into stopping you.
Paul Feyerabend

13.
It is clear, then, that the idea of a fixed method, or of a fixed theory of rationality, rests on too naive a view of man and his social surroundings. To those who look at the rich material provided by history, and who are not intent on impoverishing it in order to please their lower instincts, their craving for intellectual security in the form of clarity, precision, "objectivity," "truth," it will become clear that there is only one principle that can be defended under all circumstances and in all stages of human development. It is the principle: anything goes.
Paul Feyerabend

14.
Teachers' using grades and the fear of failure mould the brains of the young until they have lost every ounce of imagination they might once have possessed.
Paul Feyerabend

15.
The sciences of today are business enterprises run on business principles. Research in large institutes is not guided by Truth and Reason but by the most rewarding fashion, and the great minds of today increasingly turn to where the money is - which means military matters.
Paul Feyerabend

16.
No single theory ever agrees with all the facts in its domain
Paul Feyerabend

17.
Without a constant misuse of language there cannot be any discovery, any progress
Paul Feyerabend

18.
Every profession has an ideology and a drive for power that goes far beyond its achievements and it is the task of democracy to keep this ideology and this drive under control. Science is here no different from other institutions.
Paul Feyerabend

19.
Science is essentially an anarchic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternatives.
Paul Feyerabend

20.
Early Chinese thinkers had taken variety at face value. They had favored diversification and collected anomalies instead of trying to explain them away.
Paul Feyerabend

21.
Taking experimental results and observations for granted and putting the burden of proof on the theory means taking the observational ideology for granted without having ever examined it.
Paul Feyerabend

22.
Ultimate Reality, if such an entity can be postulated, is ineffable.
Paul Feyerabend

23.
Rationalism... is a secularized form of the belief in the power of the word of God.
Paul Feyerabend

24.
Science is much closer to myth than a scientific philosophy is prepared to admit. It is one of the many forms of thought that have been developed by man, and not necessarily the best. It is conspicuous, noisy, and impudent, but it is inherently superior only for those who have already decided in favour of a certain ideology, or who have accepted it without ever having examined its advantages and its limits.
Paul Feyerabend

25.
A free society is a society in which all traditions have equal rights and equal access to the centers of power. A tradition receives these rights not because the importance the cash value, as it were) it has for outsiders but because it gives meaning to the lives of those who participate in it.
Paul Feyerabend

26.
The idea of a method that contains firm, unchanging, and absolutely binding principles for conducting the business of science meets considerable difficulty when confronted with the results of historical research. We find, then, that there is not a single rule, however plausible, and however firmly grounded in epistemology, that is not violated at some time or another.
Paul Feyerabend

27.
The church at the time was much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself, and also took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo's doctrine. Its verdict against Galileo was rational and just.
Paul Feyerabend

28.
Today science prevails not because of its comparative merits, but because the show has been rigged in its favour... It reigns supreme because some past successes have led to institutional measures (education; role of experts; role of power groups such as the AMA) that prevent a comeback of the rivals.
Paul Feyerabend

29.
The separation of science and non-science is not only artificial but also detrimental to the advancement of knowledge. If we want to understand nature, if we want to master our physical surroundings, then we must use all ideas, all methods, and not just a small selection of them.
Paul Feyerabend

30.
I do not see why I should be polite to tyrants, who slobber of humanitarianism and think only of their own petty interests.
Paul Feyerabend

31.
Mathematical Reasoning is not only exact; it has its own criteria of reality.
Paul Feyerabend

32.
Facts are constituted by older ideologies, and a clash between facts and theories may be proof of progress.
Paul Feyerabend

33.
The validity of usefulness, adequacy of popular standards can be tested only by research that violates them.
Paul Feyerabend

34.
Rational discourse is only one way of presenting and examining an issue and by no means the best. Our new intellectuals are not aware of its limitations and of the nature of the things outside.
Paul Feyerabend

35.
Science is only ‘one’ of the many instruments people invented to cope with their surroundings. It is not the only one, it is not infallible and it has become too powerful, too pushy and too dangerous to be left on its own.
Paul Feyerabend

36.
Science is an essentially anarchic enterprise.
Paul Feyerabend

37.
All religions are good 'in principle' - but unfortunately this abstract Good has only rarely prevented their practitioners from behaving like bastards.
Paul Feyerabend

38.
If the world is an aggregate of relatively independent regions, then any assumption of universal laws is false and a demand for universal norms tyrannical: only brute force (or seductive deception) can then bend the different moralities so that they fit the prescriptions of a single ethical system. And indeed, the idea of universal laws of nature and society arose in connection with a life-and-death battle: the battle that gave Zeus the power over the Titans and all other gods and thus turned his laws into the laws of the universe.
Paul Feyerabend

39.
It is often assumed that science starts from facts and eschews counter-factual theories. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is one of the basic assumptions of the scientific world-view? That the variety of events that surrounds us is held together by a deeper unity.
Paul Feyerabend

40.
There is not a single rule, however plausible, and however firmly grounded in epistemology, that is not violated at some time or other. It becomes evident that such violations are not accidental events, they are not results of insufficient knowledge or of inattention which might have been avoided. On the contrary, we see that they are necessary for progress.
Paul Feyerabend

41.
One might get the impression that I recommend a new methodology which replaces induction by counterinduction and uses a multiplicity of theories, metaphysical views, fairy tales, instead of the customary pair theory/observation. This impression would certainly be mistaken. My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is rather to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits.
Paul Feyerabend

42.
All religion may be centered around a generally good idea, however, this has not stopped its adherents from acting like bastards.
Paul Feyerabend

43.
Science is neither a single tradition, nor the best tradition there is, except for people who have become accustomed to its presence, its benefits and its disadvantages. In a democracy it should be separated from the state just as churches are now separated from the state.
Paul Feyerabend

44.
Experience arises together with theoretical assumptions not before them, and an experience without theory is just as incomprehensible as is (allegedly) a theory without experience.
Paul Feyerabend

45.
A scientist, an artist, a citizen is not like a child who needs papa methodology and mama rationality to give him security and direction, he can take care of himself, for he is the inventor not only of laws, theories, pictures, plays, forms of music, ways of dealing with his fellow man, institutions, but also entire world view, he is the inventor of entire forms of like.
Paul Feyerabend

46.
First-world science is one science among many; by claiming to be more it ceases to be an instrument of research and turns into a (political) pressure group.
Paul Feyerabend

47.
An anarchist is like an undercover agent who plays the game of Reason in order to undercut the authority of Reason (Truth, Honesty, Justice and so on).
Paul Feyerabend

48.
So far Unitarian realism claiming to possess positive knowledge about Ultimate Reality has succeeded only by excluding large areas of phenomena or by declaring, without proof, that they could be reduced to basic theory, which, in this connection, means elementary particle physics.
Paul Feyerabend

49.
No theory ever agrees with all the facts in its domain, yet it is not always the theory that is to blame. Facts are constituted by older ideologies, and a clash between facts and theories may be proof of progress. It is also a first step in our attempt to find the principles implicit in familiar observational notions.
Paul Feyerabend

50.
One knows quite well that harmony can be a harmony of appearances.
Paul Feyerabend