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Paul Feyerabend’s globally acclaimed work, which sparked and continues to stimulate fierce debate, examines the deficiencies of many widespread ideas about scientific progress and the nature of knowledge. Feyerabend argues that scientific advances can only be understood in a historical context. He looks at the way the philosophy of science has consistently overemphasized practice over method, and considers the possibility that anarchism could replace rationalism in the theory of knowledge.
This updated edition of the classic text includes a new introduction by Ian Hacking, one of the most important contemporary philosophers of science. Hacking reflects on both Feyerabend’s life and personality as well as the broader significance of the book for current discussions.
About the Author
Paul Feyerabend was Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley, and Professor of the Philosophy of Science at the Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich. He died in 1994. His books include Philosophical Papers, Farewell to Reason, and Against Method.
Ian Hacking is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Historical Ontology, Scientific Revolutions, and The Emergence of Probability.
“A devastating attack on the claims of philosophy to legislate for scientific practice.”—New Society
“A brilliant polemic.”—New Scientist
“Since it was first published in 1975, Against Method has followed Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery and Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions into becoming a classic text in the debate about scientific methodology and scientific reasoning.”—The Philosopher
“A powerful critique.”—London Review of Books
“Against Method is more than a book: it is an event.”—Archives de Philosophie