Paul Feyerabend quotes

  • Given any rule, however �fundamental� or �necessary� for science, there are always circumstances when it is advisable not only to ignore the rule, but to adopt its opposite.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Opposites #Fundamentals #Given

  • The only absolute truth is that there are no absolute truths.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Truth Is #Absolute Truth

  • Science is neither a single tradition, nor the best tradition there is, except for people who have become accustomed to its presence, its benefits and its disadvantages. In a democracy it should be separated from the state just as churches are now separated from the state.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Science #People #Church

  • Copernicanism and other essential ingredients of modern science survived only because reason was frequently overruled in their past.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Science #Past #Ingredients

  • There is not a single rule, however plausible, and however firmly grounded in epistemology, that is not violated at some time or other. It becomes evident that such violations are not accidental events, they are not results of insufficient knowledge or of inattention which might have been avoided. On the contrary, we see that they are necessary for progress.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Science #Progress #Might

  • One might get the impression that I recommend a new methodology which replaces induction by counterinduction and uses a multiplicity of theories, metaphysical views, fairy tales, instead of the customary pair theory/observation. This impression would certainly be mistaken. My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is rather to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Science #Views #Use

  • The world we inhabit is abundant beyond our wildest imagination. There are trees, dreams, sunrises; there are thunderstorms, shadows, rivers; there are wars, flea bites, love affairs; there are the lives of people, Gods, entire galaxies. The simplest human action varies from one person and occasion to the next-how else would we recognize our friends only from their gait, posture, voice, and divine their changing moods? Only a tiny fraction of this abundance affects our minds. This is a blessing, not a drawback. A superconscious organism would not be superwise, it would be paralyzed.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Dream #War #Blessing

  • Science is only ‘one’ of the many instruments people invented to cope with their surroundings. It is not the only one, it is not infallible and it has become too powerful, too pushy and too dangerous to be left on its own.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Powerful #People #Surroundings

  • It is often assumed that science starts from facts and eschews counter-factual theories. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is one of the basic assumptions of the scientific world-view? That the variety of events that surrounds us is held together by a deeper unity.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Views #Unity #Together

  • The idea of a method that contains firm, unchanging, and absolutely binding principles for conducting the business of science meets considerable difficulty when confronted with the results of historical research. We find, then, that there is not a single rule, however plausible, and however firmly grounded in epistemology, that is not violated at some time or another.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Science #Ideas #Historical

  • No single theory ever agrees with all the facts in its domain
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Facts #Theory #Domain

  • Events and developments, such as ... the Copernican Revolution, ... occurred only because some thinkers either decided not to be bound by certain "obvious" methodological rules, or because they unwittingly broke them.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Science #Development #Revolution

  • Given any rule, however "fundamental" or "necessary" for science, there are always circumstances when it is advisable not only to ignore the rule, but to adopt its opposite. For example, there are circumstances when it is advisable to introduce, elaborate and defend ad hoc hypotheses, or hypotheses which contradict well-established and generally accepted experimental results, or hypotheses whose content is smaller than the content of the existing and empirically adequate alternative, or self-inconsistent hypotheses, and so on.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Science #Self #Opposites

  • I had studied Dadaism after the Second World War. What attracted me to this movement was the style its inventors used when not engaged in Dadaistic activities. It was clear, luminous, simple without being banal, precise without being narrow; it was a style adapted to the expression of thought as well as of emotion. I connected this style with the Dadaistic exercises themselves
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #War #Exercise #Simple

  • My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Limits #Intention #Methodology

  • Science is an essentially anarchic enterprise...
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Enterprise

  • The separation of state and church must be complemented by the separation of state and science, that most recent, most aggressive, and most dogmatic religious institution.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Religious #Government #Church

  • The best education consists in immunizing people against systematic attempts at education.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Education #Teaching #Learning

  • Without a constant misuse of language there cannot be any discovery, any progress
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Discovery #Progress #Language

  • All religions are good 'in principle' - but unfortunately this abstract Good has only rarely prevented their practitioners from behaving like bastards.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Principles #Abstract

  • An anarchist is like an undercover agent who plays the game of Reason in order to undercut the authority of Reason (Truth, Honesty, Justice and so on).
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Honesty #Order #Games

  • Teachers' using grades and the fear of failure mould the brains of the young until they have lost every ounce of imagination they might once have possessed.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Teacher #Imagination #Brain

  • The church at the time was much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself, and also took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo's doctrine. Its verdict against Galileo was rational and just.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Faithful #Religion #Atheism

  • Everywhere science is enriched by unscientific methods and unscientific results, ... the separation of science and non-science is not only artificial but also detrimental to the advancement of knowledge. If we want to understand nature, if we want to master our physical surroundings, then we must use all ideas, all methods, and not just a small selection of them.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Ideas #Use #Want

  • Unanimity of opinion may be fitting for a church, for the frightened or greedy victims of some (ancient, or modern) myth, or for the weak and willing followers of some tyrant. Variety of opinion is necessary for objective knowledge. And a method that encourages variety is also the only method that is comparable with a humanitarian outlook.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Knowledge #Tyrants #Church

  • No theory ever agrees with all the facts in its domain, yet it is not always the theory that is to blame. Facts are constituted by older ideologies, and a clash between facts and theories may be proof of progress. It is also a first step in our attempt to find the principles implicit in familiar observational notions.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Progress #May #Firsts

  • It is clear, then, that the idea of a fixed method, or of a fixed theory of rationality, rests on too naive a view of man and his social surroundings. To those who look at the rich material provided by history, and who are not intent on impoverishing it in order to please their lower instincts, their craving for intellectual security in the form of clarity, precision, 'objectivity', 'truth', it will become clear that 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.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Truth #Men #Views

  • The only principle that does not inhibit progress is: anything goes.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Progress #Anything Goes #Principles

  • Science is essentially an anarchic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternatives.
    -- Paul Feyerabend

    #Order #Law #Progress