I bought Paul Feyerabend’s book “Against Method” several years ago (9th April 2005 Amazon tells me) at a time when I still planned to produce a PhD thesis but when my jumping between disciplines already had made me somewhat exhausted and disoriented. I didn’t read it at that time, and I forgot I had bought it.
Now when I have put my doctoral studies on hold I discovered it in a bookshelf and started to read it a few days ago. It is originally written in 1975 and I’m reading the third edition. After reading 20 pages I understood how dangerous the book must feel for the scientific elite and why it was never mentioned during any of the courses I have attended during my studies. It should, I think, be mentioned together with Popper and Kuhn. But because it is posing a threat against normal science, it isn’t.
Anyway, I plan cite some passages from the book in this blog and comment on some of them during the coming weeks. Let’s start here with a statement where the first sentence is quite provoking, but it is softened up by the following two:
Science must be protected from ideologies; and societies, especially democratic societies, must be protected from science. This does not mean that scientists cannot profit from a philosophical education and that humanity has not and never will profit from the sciences. However, the profits should not be imposed; they should be examined and freely accepted by the parties of the exchange.