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Science & Education

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 1229–1231 | Cite as

P. K. Feyerabend: The Tyranny of Science

Polity Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0-7456-5190-3, 180 pp, price: €16.90
  • Darrell P. Rowbottom
Book Review

When I was asked to review this book, I was rather excited. I expected to have an infuriating and entertaining read, and to have an easy time writing down what I made of it all; an easy time, in particular, of finding something substantive yet outrageous to object to. But my hopes were soon dashed. I emerged indifferent, save for a tinge of disappointment.

The book is a record of a lecture series given to a general audience in 1992, complete with tangential questions and quirky answers. Feyerabend’s aim, broadly, is to attack scientism of a reasonably extreme form; the view that science has all the answers about the way the world is, or at any rate is in a position to ask and tackle all the right questions about how it is.

His line on science is anti-realist, but not overtly relativist. He argues that the empirical success of a research programme indicates the truth (or truth-likeness) neither of its metaphysical components nor of the resultant theories. He focuses, in particular, on...

References

  1. Feyerabend, P. K. (1970). Consolations for the specialist. In I. Lakatos & A. Musgrave (Eds.), Criticism and the growth of knowledge (pp. 197–230). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Kuhn, T. S. (1963). The function of dogma in scientific research. In A. C. Crombie (Ed.), Scientific change (pp. 347–369). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  3. Popper, K. R. (1970). Normal science and its dangers. In I. Lakatos & A. Musgrave (Eds.), Criticism and the growth of knowledge (pp. 51–58). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Rowbottom, D. P. (2011). Kuhn versus Popper on criticism and dogmatism in science: a resolution at the group level. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 42, 117–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lingnan UniversityTuen MunHong Kong

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