Ian James Kidd
Nottingham University
This paper explores the influence of Søren Kierkegaard upon Paul Feyerabend by examining their common criticisms of totalising accounts of human nature. Both complained that philosophical and scientific theories of human nature which were methodologically committed to objectivity and abstraction failed to capture the richness of human experience. Kierkegaard and Feyerabend argued that philosophy and the science were threatening to become obstacles to human development by imposing abstract theories of human nature and reality which denied the complexities of both. In both cases, this took the form of asserting an ‘existential’ criterion for the assessment of philosophical and scientific theories. Kierkegaard also made remarks upon the inappropriateness of applying natural scientific methods to human beings which Feyerabend later expanded and developed in his criticisms of the inability of the ‘scientific worldview’ to accommodate the values necessary to a flourishing human life. I conclude by noting some differences between Kierkegaard and Feyerabend’s positions and by affirming the value of existential criticisms of scientific knowledge.Keywords: Feyerabend; Kierkegaard; Objectivity;ion; Human nature
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.11.026
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,375
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Against Method.Paul Feyerabend - 1975 - London: New Left Books.
Consolations for the Specialist1.Paul Feyerabend - 1970 - In Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. pp. 197.
Against Method.Mark Wilson - 1978 - Philosophical Review 87 (1):106.
More Letters by Paul Feyerabend to Thomas S. Kuhn on Proto-Structure.Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (4):610-632.
Hegel and Prussianism.T. M. Knox - 1940 - Philosophy 15 (57):51 - 63.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Feyerabend on Science and Education.Ian James Kidd - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (3):407-422.
Paul Feyerabend.John Preston - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Feyerabend on Politics, Education, and Scientific Culture.Ian James Kidd - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57:121-128.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reconsidering Feyerabend’s “Anarchism‘.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2003 - Perspectives on Science 11 (2):208-235.
Kierkegaard’s Metatheology.Timothy P. Jackson - 1987 - Faith and Philosophy 4 (1):71-85.
Reason in History: Paul Feyerabend's Autobiography.John Kadvany - 1996 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):141 – 146.
Paul Feyerabend Und Thomas Kuhn.Paul Hoyningen-Huene - 2002 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (1):61-83.
Feyerabend on the Ineffability of Reality.Ian James Kidd - 2013 - In Asa Kasher & Jeanine Diller (eds.), Models of God and Other Ultimate Realities. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 849-860..


Added to PP index

Total views
44 ( #242,925 of 2,448,895 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #223,910 of 2,448,895 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes