Why did Feyerabend Defend Astrology? Integrity, Virtue, and the Authority of Science

Social Epistemology 30 (4):464-482 (2016)

Authors
Ian James Kidd
Nottingham University
Abstract
This paper explores the relationship between epistemic integrity, virtue, and authority by offering a virtue epistemological reading of the defences of non-scientific beliefs, practices, and traditions in the writings of Paul Feyerabend. I argue that there was a robust epistemic rationale for those defences and that it can inform contemporary reflection on the epistemic authority of the sciences. Two common explanations of the purpose of those defences are rejected as lacking textual support. A third “pluralist” reading is judged more persuasive, but found to be incomplete, owing to a failure to accommodate Feyerabend’s focus upon the integrity of scientists and the authority of science. I therefore suggest that the defences are more fully understood as defences of the epistemic integrity of scientists that take the form of critical exposures of failures by scientists to act with integrity. An appeal is made to contemporary virtue epistemology that clarifies Feyerabend’s implicit association of epistemic...
Keywords Feyerabend  virtue epistemology  epistemic integrity
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DOI 10.1080/02691728.2015.1031851
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References found in this work BETA

Is Water H2O? Evidence, Realism and Pluralism.Hasok Chang - 2012 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science.
Against Method.Paul Feyerabend - 1975 - London: New Left Books.
Personal Knowledge.Michael Polanyi - 1958 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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