P. K. Feyerabend: The Tyranny of Science
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...
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