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Summary Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994) was an influential philosopher of science who challenged orthodoxy in the philosophy of science throughout his career.  Following studies in Vienna, he worked for a time in the late 1950's in Britain before moving to the University of California at Berkeley.  Though he remained attached to Berkeley throughout the remainder of his career, he held a range of visiting positions, and in later years also held a position at the ETH in Zurich.  In early work, Feyerabend subjected the logical empiricist account of meaning to criticism, arguing for meaning variance and the incommensurability of theories.  He was perhaps most famous for his book Against Method in which he argues that all rules of scientific method may be legitimately violated in specific circumstances.
Key works Feyerabend's most famous book is Against Method.  Later books include  Science in a Free SocietyFarewell to ReasonConquest of Abundance and  The Tyranny of Science.  Many of his most important papers have been collected in the three volumes of his philosophical papers Feyerabend 1981, Feyerabend 1981, Feyerabend 1999.  Several books devoted to Feyerabend have been published, including Farrell 2003, Oberheim 2007, Preston 1997, as well as a recent edited collection of essays Feyerabend et al 2000.  Feyerabend's autobiography, Killing Time, is also to be recommended.
Introductions Paul Hoyningen-Huene's obituary of Feyerabend contains general remarks on Feyerabend's philosophical work, as well as his life and career (see Hoyningen-Huene 1994).  For a more detailed overview of Feyerabend's career and the development of his ideas, see John Preston's entry on Feyerabend in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (see Preston 2008).
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  1. Peter Achinstein (ed.) (2004). Science Rules: A Historical Introduction to Scientific Methods. Johns Hopkins University Press.
    Is there a universal set of rules for discovering and testing scientific hypotheses? Since the birth of modern science, philosophers, scientists, and other thinkers have wrestled with this fundamental question of scientific practice. Efforts to devise rigorous methods for obtaining scientific knowledge include the twenty-one rules Descartes proposed in his Rules for the Direction of the Mind and the four rules of reasoning that begin the third book of Newton's Principia , and continue today in debates over the very possibility (...)
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  2. Peter Achinstein (2000). Is It a Good Thing? In Paul Feyerabend, John Preston, Gonzalo Munévar & David Lamb (eds.), The Worst Enemy of Science?: Essays in Memory of Paul Feyerabend. Oxford University Press. 37.
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  3. Peter Achinstein (2000). Proliferation: Is It a Good Thing? In John Preston, Gonzalo Munévar & David Lamb (eds.), 'The Worst Enemy of Science'?: Essays in Memory of Paul Feyerabend. Oup Usa.
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  4. J. Agassi (2008). Book Review: Stadler, F., and Fischer, K. R., Editors. (2006). Paul Feyerabend: Ein Philosoph Aus Wien. Vienna: Springer. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (2):303-305.
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  5. Joseph Agassi (forthcoming). Book Review: Paul Feyerabend: Ein Philosoph Aus Wien, Edited by F. Stadler and KR Fischer. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences.
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  6. C. Fred Alford (1985). III. Yates on Feyerabend's Democratic Relativism. Inquiry 28 (1-4):113 – 118.
    Stephen Yates's objections to Feyerabend's political theory (Inquiry 27 [1984], 137?42) are presented in a way that makes them unnecessarily vulnerable to a rhetorical strategy often employed by Feyerabend. Like many other critics, Yates seems to assume that it is the implausibility of Feyerabend's claims that opens them to refutation, whereas it is really this that makes them such slippery targets of criticism. Rather than claim that Feyerabend's ideal would be virtually impossible to realize, I argue that Feyerabend does not (...)
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  7. Bernard Baertschi (1986). Le réalisme scientifique de Feyerabend. Dialogue 25 (02):267-.
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  8. Dominic J. Balestra (1984). Radical Knowledge: A Philosophical Inquiry Into the Nature and Limits of Science. By Gonzalo Munevar, with a Forword by Paul K. Feyerabend. Modern Schoolman 61 (2):134-137.
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  9. Francesco Barone (1972). Protocol Sentences and Scientific Anarchism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 16:327-345.
    Contrary to a common opinion, some theses of scientific anarchism are historically connected not only to Popper's and "second" Wittgenstein's thoughts, but also to some ideas affirmed by the advocates of "physicalism" (like Neurath) during the neopositivistie debate on protocol sentences. The common basis of "physicalism" and "anarchism" is a repulse of the "atomistic" theory of meaning. That is making more adequate the epistemological description of knowledge. But both Neurath and Feyerabend err in thinking that this repulse entails a conception (...)
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  10. Gordon C. F. Bearn (1986). Nietzsche, Feyerabend, and the Voices of Relativism. Metaphilosophy 17 (2-3):135-152.
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  11. P. William Bechtel & Eric Stiffler (1978). Observationality: Quine and the Epistemological Nihilists. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:93 - 108.
    Quine has proposed an alternative criterion for identifying observation sentences which has not yet received serious evaluation. We investigate this new criterion, showing how it differs from more traditional criteria and measuring it against the major objections to traditional criteria. Our judgment is that it meets Suppe's and Achinstein's objections and one version of the theory-ladenness objection offered by Hanson, Feyerabend, and Kuhn. We suggest how it might also provide an answer to the more serious version of the theory-ladenness objection. (...)
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  12. Nuel D. Belnap & Paul Feyerabend (1974). Memorial Minutes. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1974:XI - XIII.
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  13. Isaac Ben-Israel (2001). Philosophy and Methodology of Military Intelligence: Correspondence with Paul Feyerabend. Philosophia 28 (1-4):71-101.
    The paper includes a series of letters exchanged between the author and the late Professor Feyerabend, concerning the best "method" for military intelligence, as a test case for the role of conceptual frameworks in philosophy of science. The letters deal with issues like: Is it possible to make an intelligence estimate without a conceptual framework? Does such a framework have any 'positive' role? If so, how should a conceptual framework in intelligence be built? What risks lurk within it? Is it (...)
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  14. S. Benvenuto (1995). Paul K. Feyerabend (1924-1994) -- Search for Abundance. Telos 1995 (102):107-114.
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  15. Horacio Bernardo (2003). De la paradoja en el" todo vale" de Paul Feyerabend a la falacia de la falsa libertad. A Parte Rei: Revista de Filosofía 25:7.
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  16. Clive Vernon Borst (1970). The Mind-Brain Identity Theory: A Collection of Papers. New York,St Martin's P..
    Mind body, not a pseudo-problem, by H. Feigl.--Is consciousness a brain process? by U. T. Place.--Sensations and brain processes, by J. J. C. Smart.--The nature of mind, by D. M. Armstrong.--Materialism as a scientific hypothesis, by U. T. Place.--Sensations and brain processes: a reply to J. J. C. Smart, by J. T. Stevenson.--Further remarks on sensations and brain processes, by J. J. C. Smart.--Smart on sensations, by K. Baier.--Brain processes and incorrigibility, by J. J. C. Smart.--Could mental states be brain (...)
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  17. Hardy Bouillon (1998). Gunnar Andersson, Criticism and the History of Science. Kuhn's, Lakatos's and Feyerabend's Criticisms of Critical Rationalism, (Philosophy of History and Culture, Vol. 13.). [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 29 (1):133-135.
  18. Harold I. Brown (1983). Incommensurability. Inquiry 26 (1):3 – 29.
    The thesis that certain competing scientific theories are incommensurable was introduced by Kuhn and Feyerabend in 1962 and has been a subject of widespread critique. Critics have generally taken incommensurable theories to be theories which cannot be compared in a rational manner, but both Kuhn and Feyerabend have explicitly rejected this interpretation, and Feyerabend has discussed ways in which such comparisons can be made in a number of his writings. This paper attempts to clarify the incommensurability thesis through the examination (...)
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  19. J. R. Brown (1981). Science in a Free Society by Paul Feyerabend; New Left Books; London, 1978; Pp. 221. Dialogue 20 (1):169-171.
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  20. Robert E. Butts (1966). Feyerabend and the Pragmatic Theory of Observation. Philosophy of Science 33 (4):383-394.
    Central to Paul K. Feyerabend's philosophy of science are two theses: (1) there is no standard observation language available to science; instead, observability is to be viewed as a pragmatic matter; and (2) when considering questions of empirical significance and experimental test, the methodological unit of science is a set of inconsistent theories. I argue that the pragmatic theory of observation by itself decides neither for nor against any particular specification of meaning for an observation language; and that Feyerabend's position (...)
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  21. G. N. Cantor (1976). Scientific Knowledge and Sociological Theory by Barry Barnes; The Interaction Between Science and Philosophy Edited by Y. Elkana; Against Method, Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge by Paul Feyerabend. History of Science 14:265.
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  22. H. Chang (2000). Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend, For and Against Method, Ed. By Matteo Motterlini. Annals of Science 57:456-457.
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  23. Paul M. Churchland (1997). To Transform the Phenomena: Feyerabend, Proliferation, and Recurrent Neural Networks. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):420.
    Paul Feyerabend recommended the methodological policy of proliferating competing theories as a means to uncovering new empirical data, and thus as a means to increase the empirical constraints that all theories must confront. Feyerabend's policy is here defended as a clear consequence of connectionist models of explanatory understanding and learning. An earlier connectionist "vindication" is criticized, and a more realistic and penetrating account is offered in terms of the computationally plastic cognitive profile displayed by neural networks with a recurrent architecture.
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  24. Stephen R. L. Clark (2002). Feyerabend's Conquest of Abundance. Inquiry 45 (2):249 – 267.
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  25. Thomas Clarke (1999). Feyerabend, Rorty, Mouffe and Keane: On Realising Democracy. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 2 (3):81-118.
    This article examines a peculiarity dating from Classical times, namely, that democracy may be achieved, in practice, independently of and prior to its articulation as theory. This peculiarity has implications for the way in which the history of democratic theory is understood, and also for the place of the democratic theorist in society. Paul Feyerabend, Richard Rorty, Chantal Mouffe and John Keane are theorists of democracy, but they all depart, first, from the commitment to the universal truth?claims that underpin other (...)
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  26. José Alberto Coffa (1967). Feyerabend on Explanation and Reduction. Journal of Philosophy 64 (16):500-508.
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  27. David Comincini (2004). Le premesse" etiche" dell'epistemologia di Paul K Feyerabend. Epistemologia 27 (2):245-264.
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  28. Paul Cortois (1998). Paul K. Feyerabend, Zeitverschwendung, aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Joachim Jung. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 60 (2):401-403.
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  29. Paul Cortois (1995). Afscheid Van een geniaal bordenwasser. Paul Feyerabend en de vrolijke wetenschapsfilosofie. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (1):91 - 110.
    In this commemorative article the significance of Paul Feyerabend's work for philosophy of science in general is reviewed. Its unifying perspective is identified as the fight against any possible constraint on imagination (i.e. on the capacity of generating alternatives). This alternative-maximizing search was already central in Feyerabend's 'pre-anarchistic' studies. In fact, I claim that the really significant theses and arguments, as far as the intrinsic debate within the philosophy of science is concerned, were present in these earlier studies (criticism of (...)
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  30. George Couvalis (1994). Feyerabend, the Ancient Quarrel and the Problem of Aesthetic Criteria. Philosophical Inquiry 16 (1-2):1-19.
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  31. George Couvalis (1989). Feyerabend's Critique of Foundationalism. Avebury.
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  32. George Couvalis, Gonzalo Munévar, Eric Oberheim & Paul Hoyningen-Huehne (1999). Radical Fallibilism Vs Conceptual Analysis: The Significance of Feyerabend's Philosophy of Science. [REVIEW] Metascience 8 (2):206-233.
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  33. S. G. Couvalis (1988). Feyerabend, Ionesco, and the Philosophy of the Drama. Critical Philosophy 4:51-66.
  34. S. G. Couvalis (1987). Feyerabend's Epistemology and Brecht's Theory of the Drama. Philosophy and Literature 11 (1):117-123.
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  35. Spyridon George Couvalis (1988). Feyerabend and Laymon on Brownian Motion. Philosophy of Science 55 (3):415-421.
    In this paper, I will defend Paul Feyerabend's claim--that there are some scientific theories that cannot be refuted unless one of their rivals is first confirmed--by criticizing Ronald Laymon's well-known attack on Feyerabend's claim. In particular, I will argue both that the Second Law of Thermodynamics was not refuted before the Kinetic Theory's predictions were confirmed, and that it could not have been refuted without the confirmation of the remarkable predictions of some rival theory.
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  36. Spyridon George Couvalis (1986). Should Philosophers Become Playwrights? Inquiry 29 (1-4):451-457.
    Feyerabend has recently argued that the best way to deal with philosophical problems is through drama rather than through intellectual debate. This paper criticises his view and corrects it.
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  37. J. Curthoys & W. Suchting (1977). Feyerabend's Discourse Against Method: A Marxist Critique. Inquiry 20 (1-4):243 – 371.
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  38. John Darwin (2010). Kuhn Vs. Popper Vs. Lakatos Vs. Feyerabend. Philosophy of Management 9 (1):39-57.
    In this paper we examine the alleged war between Kuhn and Popper, extending the discussion to incorporate two of their lesser known, but important, protagonists, Lakatos and Feyerabend. The argument presented here is that the four can fruitfully be considered together, and that it is possible to go beyond the surface tensions and clashes between them to fashion an approach which takes advantage of the insights of all. The implications of this approach for management are then considered, using the concept (...)
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  39. Robert Deltete (2011). Paul Feyerabend , The Tyranny of Science . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 31 (4):271-273.
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  40. Werner Dffiderich (1991). Obituary on the" Anarchist" Paul Feyerabend. In Gonzalo Munevar (ed.), Beyond Reason: Essays on the Philosophy of Paul Feyerabend. Springer. 213.
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  41. Carlos Díaz (1974). Paul Feyerabend: En Torno a Dos Trabajos. Teorema: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 4 (4):587-590.
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  42. Hans Peter Duerr (1974). In Defence of Paul Feyerabend. Inquiry 17 (1-4):112.
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  43. V. Dusek (1998). Brecht and Lukacs as Teachers of Feyerabend and Lakatos: The Feyerabend-Lakatos Debate as Scientific Recapitulation of the Brecht- Lukacs Debate. History of the Human Sciences 11 (2):25-44.
    Feyerabend and Lakatos were invited to be assistants of the literary Marxists Brecht and Lukács, respectively. In the 1930s Expressionism Debate, Lukács associated artistic expressionism with irrationalism and fascism, while Brecht criticized Lukács' anti-modernism. Lakatos' criti cisms of Kuhn echo Lukács' denunciations of German idealism, and Lukács influenced the terminology and topics in Lakatos' methodol ogy. Lakatos, concerned with progress, and fearful of irrationalism and degeneration, recapitulates positions of his teacher, Lukács, in the latter's attack on modern art. Feyerabend's criticisms (...)
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  44. Robert P. Farell (2001). Feyerabend's Metaphysics: Process-Realism, or Voluntarist-Idealism? [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 32 (2):351-369.
    John Preston has contended that Paul Feyerabend retreated from his earlier commitment to realism and consciously embraced a ‘voluntarist’, social constructionist, idealism. Though there seems to be unmistakable subjective idealist statements in some of Feyerabend's writings, it will be argued that Feyerabend's idealistic period was short-lived, and that he returned to a form of realism in his later writings. Specifically, Feyerabend's distinction between theoretical/abstract and empirical/historical traditions of thought, when understood with Feyerabend's re evaluation of Bohr's philosophy of quantum physics (...)
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  45. Robert Farrell (2003). Feyerabend and Scientific Values: Tightrope-Walking Rationality. Kluwer.
    In this book it is argued that this picture of Feyerabend is false.
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  46. Robert P. Farrell (2000). Will the Popperian Feyerabend Please Step Forward: Pluralistic, Popperian Themes in the Philosophy of Paul Feyerabend. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3):257 – 266.
    John Preston has claimed that we must understand Paul Feyerabend's later, post-1970, philosophy in terms of a disappointed Popperianism: that Feyerabend became a sceptical, relativistic, literal anarchist because of his perception of the failure of Popper's philosophy. I argue that this claim cannot be supported and trace the development of Feyerabend's philosophy in terms of a commitment to the central Popperian themes of criticism and critical explanatory progress. This commitment led Feyerabend to reject Popper's specific methodology in favour of a (...)
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  47. Dear Paul Feyerabend (1991). Letter to an Anti-Liberal Liberal. In Gonzalo Munevar (ed.), Beyond Reason: Essays on the Philosophy of Paul Feyerabend. Springer. 199.
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  48. P. Feyerabend (1982). Academic Ratiofascism Comments on Tibor Machan's Review. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 12 (2):191-195.
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  49. P. K. Feyerabend (1979). Reply to Hellman's Review. Metaphilosophy 10 (2):202–206.
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  50. P. K. Feyerabend (1978). Reply to Tibbetts and Hattiangadi. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 8 (2):184-186.
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