Zitate von Paul Feyerabend

Paul Feyerabend Foto
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Paul Feyerabend

Geburtstag: 13. Januar 1924
Todesdatum: 11. Februar 1994

Paul Karl Feyerabend war ein österreichischer Philosoph und Wissenschaftstheoretiker. Er war von 1958 bis 1989 Philosophieprofessor an der Universität von Kalifornien in Berkeley und lebte zeitweilig in England, Deutschland, Neuseeland, Italien, zuletzt in der Schweiz, wo er als Hochschullehrer an der ETH Zürich tätig war.

Bekannt wurde Feyerabend durch seinen wissenschaftstheoretischen Anarchismus. Nach Feyerabend lassen sich keine universellen und ahistorischen wissenschaftlichen Methoden formulieren, produktive Wissenschaft müsse vielmehr Methoden nach Belieben verändern, einführen und aufgeben dürfen. Zudem gebe es keine allgemeinen Maßstäbe, mit denen verschiedene wissenschaftliche Methoden oder Traditionen bewertet werden könnten. Das Fehlen allgemeiner Bewertungsmaßstäbe führt ihn zu einem philosophischen Relativismus, nach dem keine Theorie allgemein wahr oder falsch ist.

Werk

Zitate Paul Feyerabend

„Der einzige Grundsatz, der den Fortschritt nicht behindert, lautet: Anything goes.“

—  Paul Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Mach, was du willst
Wider den Methodenzwang: Skizze einer anarchistischen Erkenntnistheorie. Übersetzung Hermann Vetter. Suhrkamp 1979, S.5 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=pdW4AAAAIAAJ&dq=anything

„Es ist kurzsichtig anzunehmen, dass man ›Lösungen‹ für Menschen hat, an deren Leben man nicht teilnimmt und deren Probleme man nicht kennt.“

—  Paul Feyerabend, buch Erkenntnis für freie Menschen

Erkenntnis für freie Menschen. edition suhrkamp 1980, S.237 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=OMXGAAAAIAAJ&q=eingebildet

„Selbst Scheinfächer wie die Wissenschaftstheorie, die der Wissenschaft ihren Namen, der diese aber keine einzige brauchbare Idee verdankt, werden weit über den Wert ihrer positiven Beiträge finanziert.“

—  Paul Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Wider den Methodenzwang: Skizze einer anarchistischen Erkenntnistheorie. Übersetzung Hermann Vetter. Suhrkamp 1979, S.12 https://books.google.de/books?id=pdW4AAAAIAAJ&dq=scheinfächer- 13 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=pdW4AAAAIAAJ&dq=finanziert

„[…] der wird einsehen, daß es nur einen Grundsatz gibt, der sich unter allen Umständen und in allen Stadien der menschlichen Entwicklung vertreten läßt. Es ist der Grundsatz: Anything goes.“

—  Paul Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Mach, was du willst
S.45 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=pdW4AAAAIAAJ&dq=%22allen+umst%C3%A4nden%22
"[...] 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." - Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge.

„Fortschritt in eine Richtung kommt nicht ohne Aufhebung der Möglichkeit zum Fortschritt in eine andere Richtung zustande.“

—  Paul Feyerabend, buch Erkenntnis für freie Menschen

Erkenntnis für freie Menschen. Suhrkamp 1979, S.147 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=c713AAAAMAAJ&q=richtung; edition suhrkamp 1980, S.172 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=OMXGAAAAIAAJ&q=richtung

Citát „Facts are constituted by older ideologies“

„Facts are constituted by older ideologies“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Pg. 33.
Against Method (1975)
Kontext: Facts are constituted by older ideologies, and a clash between facts and theories may be proof of progress.

„A free society is a society in which all traditions have equal rights and equal access to the centers of power.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Erkenntnis für freie Menschen

pg 9.
Science in a Free Society (1978)
Kontext: A free society is a society in which all traditions have equal rights and equal access to the centers of power. A tradition receives these rights not because the importance the cash value, as it were) it has for outsiders but because it gives meaning to the lives of those who participate in it.

„We need a dream-world in order to discover the features of the real world we think we inhabit.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Quelle: Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge

„Such assumptions may be perfectly plausible and even true. Still, one should occasionally put them to a test. Putting them to a test means that we stop using the methodology associated with them, start doing science in a different way and see what happens.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Pg 295-296.
Against Method (1975)
Kontext: Naive falsificationism takes it for granted that the laws of nature are manifest an not hidden beneath disturbances of considerable magnitude. Empiricism takes it for granted that sense experience is a better mirror of the world than pure thought. Praise of argument takes it for granted that the artifices of Reason give better results than the unchecked play of our emotions. Such assumptions may be perfectly plausible and even true. Still, one should occasionally put them to a test. Putting them to a test means that we stop using the methodology associated with them, start doing science in a different way and see what happens.

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„Rationality is not an arbiter of traditions, it is itself a tradition or an aspect of a tradition.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Erkenntnis für freie Menschen

pg 27
Science in a Free Society (1978)
Kontext: Traditions are neither good nor bad, they simply are... Rationality is not an arbiter of traditions, it is itself a tradition or an aspect of a tradition.

„Combining this observation with the insight that science has no special method, we arrive at the result that 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. The assertion, however, that there is no knowledge outside science - extra scientiam nulla salus“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

is nothing but another and most convenient fairy-tale. Primitive tribes has more detailed classifications of animals and plant than contemporary scientific zoology and botany, they know remedies whose effectiveness astounds physicians (while the pharmaceutical industry already smells here a new source of income), they have means of influencing their fellow men which science for a long time regarded as non-existent (voodoo), they solve difficult problems in ways which are still not quite understood (building of the pyramids; Polynesian travels), there existed a highly developed and internationally known astronomy in the old Stone Age, this astronomy was factually adequate as well as emotionally satisfying, it solved both physical and social problems (one cannot say the same about modern astronomy) and it was tested in very simple and ingenious ways (stone observatories in England and in the South Pacific; astronomical schools in Polynesia - for a more details treatment an references concerning all these assertions cf. my Einfuhrung in die Naturphilosophie). There was the domestication of animals, the invention of rotating agriculture, new types of plants were bred and kept pure by careful avoidance of cross fertilization, we have chemical inventions, we have a most amazing art that can compare with the best achievement of the present. True, there were no collective excursions to the moon, but single individuals, disregarding great dangers to their soul and their sanity, rose from sphere to sphere to sphere until they finally faced God himself in all His splendor while others changed into animals and back into humans again. At all times man approached his surroundings with wide open senses and a fertile intelligence, at all times he made incredible discoveries, at all times we can learn from his ideas.
Pg. 306-307
Against Method (1975)

„I say that Auschwitz is an extreme manifestation of an attitude that still thrives in our midst.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Farewell to Reason

pg 309
Farewell to Reason (1987)
Kontext: I say that Auschwitz is an extreme manifestation of an attitude that still thrives in our midst. It shows itself in the treatment of minorities in industrial democracies; in education, education to a humanitarian point of view included, which most of the time consists of turning wonderful young people into colorless and self-righteous copies of their teachers; it becomes manifest in the nuclear threat, the constant increase in the number and power of deadly weapons and the readiness of some so-called patriots to start a war compared with which the holocaust will shrink into insignificance. It shows itself in the killing of nature and of "primitive" cultures with never a thought spent on those thus deprived of meaning for their lives; in the colossal conceit of our intellectuals, their belief that they know precisely what humanity needs and their relentless efforts to recreate people in their sorry image; in the infantile megalomania of some of our physicians who blackmail their patients with fear, mutilate them and then persecute them with large bills; in the lack of feeling of so many so-called searchers for truth who systematically torture animals, study their discomfort and receive prizes for their cruelty. As far as I am concerned there exists no difference between the henchmen of Aushwitz and these "benefactors of mankind."

„The Conceptual apparatus of the theory and the emotions connected with its application, having penetrated all means of communication, all actions, and indeed the whole life of the community, now guarantees the success of methods such as transcendental deduction, analysis of usage, phenomenological analysis - which are means for further solidifying the myth… At the same time it is evident that all contact with the world is lost and the stability achieved, the semblance of absolute truth is nothing but absolute conformism.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Pg 44&45
Against Method (1975)
Kontext: [continued conjecture on empiricism] At this point an "empirical" theory of the kind described becomes almost indistinguishable from a second-rate myth. In order to realize this, we need only consider a myth such as the myth of witchcraft and of demonic possession that was developed by the Roman Catholic theologians and that dominated 15th-, 16th- and 17th-century thought on the European continent. This myth is a complex explanatory system that contains numerous auxiliary hypotheses designed to cover special cases, so it easily achieves a high degree of confirmation on the basis of observation. It has been taught for a long time; its content is enforced by fear, prejudice, and ignorance, as well as by a jealous and cruel priesthood. Its ideas penetrate the most common idiom, infect all modes of thinking and many decisions which mean a great deal in human life. It provides models for the explanation of a conceivable event - Conceivable, that is, for those who have accepted it. This being the case, its key terms will be fixed in an unambiguous manner and the idea (which may have led to such a procedure in the first place) that they are copies of unchanging entities and that change of meaning, if it should happen, is due to human mistake - This idea will now be very plausible. Such plausibility reinforces all the manoeuvres which are used for the preservation of the myth (elimination of opponents included). The Conceptual apparatus of the theory and the emotions connected with its application, having penetrated all means of communication, all actions, and indeed the whole life of the community, now guarantees the success of methods such as transcendental deduction, analysis of usage, phenomenological analysis - which are means for further solidifying the myth... At the same time it is evident that all contact with the world is lost and the stability achieved, the semblance of absolute truth is nothing but absolute conformism. For how can we possibly test, or improve upon the truth of a theory if it is built in such a manner then any conceivable event can be described, and explained, in terms of its principles? The only way of investigating such all-embracing principles would be to compare them with a different set of equally all embracing principles- but this procedure has been excluded from the very beginning.

„At all times man approached his surroundings with wide open senses and a fertile intelligence, at all times he made incredible discoveries, at all times we can learn from his ideas.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Pg. 306-307
Against Method (1975)
Kontext: Combining this observation with the insight that science has no special method, we arrive at the result that 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. The assertion, however, that there is no knowledge outside science - extra scientiam nulla salus - is nothing but another and most convenient fairy-tale. Primitive tribes has more detailed classifications of animals and plant than contemporary scientific zoology and botany, they know remedies whose effectiveness astounds physicians (while the pharmaceutical industry already smells here a new source of income), they have means of influencing their fellow men which science for a long time regarded as non-existent (voodoo), they solve difficult problems in ways which are still not quite understood (building of the pyramids; Polynesian travels), there existed a highly developed and internationally known astronomy in the old Stone Age, this astronomy was factually adequate as well as emotionally satisfying, it solved both physical and social problems (one cannot say the same about modern astronomy) and it was tested in very simple and ingenious ways (stone observatories in England and in the South Pacific; astronomical schools in Polynesia - for a more details treatment an references concerning all these assertions cf. my Einfuhrung in die Naturphilosophie). There was the domestication of animals, the invention of rotating agriculture, new types of plants were bred and kept pure by careful avoidance of cross fertilization, we have chemical inventions, we have a most amazing art that can compare with the best achievement of the present. True, there were no collective excursions to the moon, but single individuals, disregarding great dangers to their soul and their sanity, rose from sphere to sphere to sphere until they finally faced God himself in all His splendor while others changed into animals and back into humans again. At all times man approached his surroundings with wide open senses and a fertile intelligence, at all times he made incredible discoveries, at all times we can learn from his ideas.

„After Aristotle and Ptolemy, the idea that the earth moves - that strange, ancient, and "entirely ridiculous", Pythagorean view was thrown on the rubbish heap of history, only to be revived by Copernicus and to be forged by him into a weapon for the defeat of its defeaters. The Hermetic writings played an important part in this revival, which is still not sufficiently understood, and they were studied with care by the great Newton himself.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Pg 48
Against Method (1975)
Kontext: Progress was often achieved by a "criticism from the past"… After Aristotle and Ptolemy, the idea that the earth moves - that strange, ancient, and "entirely ridiculous", Pythagorean view was thrown on the rubbish heap of history, only to be revived by Copernicus and to be forged by him into a weapon for the defeat of its defeaters. The Hermetic writings played an important part in this revival, which is still not sufficiently understood, and they were studied with care by the great Newton himself. Such developments are not surprising. No idea is ever examined in all its ramifications and no view is ever given all the chances it deserves. Theories are abandoned and superseded by more fashionable accounts long before they have had an opportunity to show their virtues. Besides, ancient doctrines and "primitive" myths appear strange and nonsensical only because their scientific content is either not known, or is distorted by philologists or anthropologists unfamiliar with the simplest physical, medical or astronomical knowledge.

„Many "educated citizens" take it for granted that reality is what scientists say it is and that other opinions may be recorded, but need not be taken seriously.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend

Pg 27.
Conquest of Abundance (2001 [posthumous])
Kontext: Many "educated citizens" take it for granted that reality is what scientists say it is and that other opinions may be recorded, but need not be taken seriously. But science offers not one story, it offers many; the stories clash and their relation to a story-independent "reality" is as problematic as the relation of the Homeric epics to an alleged "Homeric world."

„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 Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

pg. 32, Italics are Feyerabend's.
Against Method (1975)
Kontext: 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. The best way to show this is to demonstrate the limits and even the irrationality of some rules which she, or he, is likely to regard as basic. In the case that induction (including induction by falsification) this means demonstrating how well the counterinductive procedure can be supported by argument.

„This is how empirical "evidence" may be created by a procedure which quotes as its justification the very same evidence it has Produced.“

—  Paul Karl Feyerabend, buch Wider den Methodenzwang

Pg. 43 & 44
Against Method (1975)
Kontext: [On Empiricism ] It is evident, on the basis of our considerations, that this appearance of success cannot in the least be regarded as a sign of truth and correspondence with nature. Quite the contrary, suspicion arises that the absence of major difficulties is a result of the decrease of empirical content brought about by the elimination of alternatives, and of facts that can be discovered with their help. In other words, the suspicion arises that this alleged success is due to the fact that the theory, when extended beyond its starting point, was turned into rigid ideology. Such Ideology is "successful" not because it agrees so well with the facts; it is successful because no facts have been specified that could constitute a test, and because some such facts have been removed. Its "success" is entirely man-made. It was decided to stick to some ideas, come what may, and the result was, quite naturally, the survival of these ideas. If now the initial decision is forgotten, or made only implicitly, for example, if it becomes common law in physics, then the survival itself will seem to constitute independent support., it will reinforce the decision, or turn it into an explicate one, and in this way close the circle. This is how empirical "evidence" may be created by a procedure which quotes as its justification the very same evidence it has Produced.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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