Organizational Dynamics of Technology-Based Innovation: Diversifying the Research Agenda

Volume 235 of the series IFIP International Federation for Information Processing pp 1-12

Conferences as Epistemological Experiments

Purity, Plurality, and the Politics of Knowledge
  • David WastellAffiliated withNottingham University Business School
  • , Tom McMasterAffiliated withUniversity of Salford


So opens Feyerabend’s (1993) seminal essay Against Method. The epigraph is apt for this commencement too, given the Conference theme which calls for diversification, in theory, method, and empirical contexts. The following amalgam of extracts gives the gist of Feyerabend’s thesis:

Science is an essentially anarchistic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternative.... This is shown both by an examination of historical episodes and by an abstract analysis of the relation between idea and action. 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 (pp. 9, 18–19).