Conferences as Epistemological Experiments

Purity, Plurality, and the Politics of Knowledge
  • David Wastell
  • Tom McMaster
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-72804-9_1

Part of the IFIP International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 235)
Cite this paper as:
Wastell D., McMaster T. (2007) Conferences as Epistemological Experiments. In: McMaster T., Wastell D., Ferneley E., DeGross J.I. (eds) Organizational Dynamics of Technology-Based Innovation: Diversifying the Research Agenda. TDIT 2007. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, vol 235. Springer, Boston, MA


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).

Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Wastell
    • 1
  • Tom McMaster
    • 2
  1. 1.Nottingham University Business SchoolNottinghamUK
  2. 2.University of SalfordSalfordUK

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