Excerpts from Feyerabend’s Against Method

Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, Verso, 1993 (third ed.).

From his 1987 “Preface” for the book:

Again I want to make two points: first, that science can stand on its own feet and does not need any help from rationalists, secular humanists, Marxists and similar religious movements; and, secondly, that non-scientific cultures, procedures and assumptions can also stand on their representatives. Science must be protected from ideologies; and societies, especially democratic societies, must be protected from science. This does not mean that scientists cannot profit from a philosophical education and that humanity has not and never will profit from the sciences. However, the profits should not be imposed; they should be examined and freely accepted by the parties of exchange. In a democracy scientific institutions, research programmes, and suggestions must therefore be subjected to public control, there must be a separation of state and science just as there is a separation between state and religious institutions, and sciecne should be taught as one view among many and not as the one and only road to truth and reality. There is nothing in the nature of science that excludes such institutional arrangements or shows that they are liable to lead to disaster“(viii).

my Q1: Science and society must be protected from each other? They should stand on their own feet, but there’s no exclusively pure science freed from society.

 Q2: What is “public control” to which scientific institutions etc. must be subjected? What is difference between public control and state control?

See also: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/feyerabe.htm


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