Feyerabend’s Against Method: Rationalism vs. Pseudo-irrationalism
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo
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This is a critical examination of Paul Feyerabend’s Against Method (originally published in 1975). I argue that, although Feyerabend’s book may superficially appear as primarily destructive, he is really practicing a relatively novel and essentially sound approach to the analysis of scientific rationality; Feyerabend’s approach is a concrete, empirical, historical, and rhetorical one, and his account of Galileo’s methodology is meant to be a case study. I also argue that Feyerabend’s account of Galileo’s methodology is not really irrationalistic, but pseudo-irrationalistic; in reality, Galileo proceeds rationally for Feyerabend, as long as the concept of scientific rationality is expanded to allow for rhetorical factors that are a-logical rather than anti-logical, and for epistemological practices neglected by orthodox scholars but ultimately reducible to reasoning and argumentation. Finally, I elaborate, along such lines, a critical appreciation of Feyerabend’s discussion of Galileo’s critique of the vertical-fall argument against the earth’s motion.
Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642; Rationalism; Methodology
Philosophy of Science
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Finocchiaro, M. A.
Feyerabend’s Against Method: Rationalism vs. Pseudo-irrationalism.
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo, 40
Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham.