Author Archives: Paul Newall

Hegel and the development of Feyerabend’s thought

In his paper Two models of epistemic change (1970), Feyerabend argued that we can distinguish between two approaches to prolonged stability of theories or concepts. The first interprets durability as a measure of success: on an instrumentalist view, it may … Continue reading

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Feyerabend and historiographic proliferation

In the introduction to his Against Method, Paul Feyerabend paraphrased V.I. Lenin by claiming that history is “always richer in content, more varied, more many-sided, more lively and subtle” than “the best historian and the best methodologist can imagine”. He … Continue reading

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Anything goes? Feyerabend and method

This entry looks at Paul Feyerabend’s reductio ad absurdum of specific rationalist conceptions of scientific method, perhaps one of the least understood arguments in the philosophy of science. I explain the structure of the reductio before considering how Feyerabend applied … Continue reading

Posted in Feyerabend, Galileo, History and Philosophy of Science, History of Science, Philosophy of Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

On Lutz on Laudan and demarcation

In his (draft) paper On an Allegedly Essential Feature of Demarcation Criteria of Science, Sebastian Lutz claims that demarcation does not require a criterion that is both a necessary and sufficient condition, as had been discussed in Laudan’s famous paper … Continue reading

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The politics of demarcation

Abstract: Is it better to have demarcation criteria that allow us to demarcate in practice rather than ones that are philosophically rigorous? This entry looks again at the demarcation problem and considers the criticism that philosophical treatments of it fail … Continue reading

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Ockham’s Razor

Ockham’s Razor, otherwise called the principle of the economy of thought, is often invoked in debate or arguments, usually to discard or count against one or more theories on the basis that another exists that is simpler or more parsimonious. … Continue reading

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Feyerabend on Kuhn and Historiography

This entry looks at some comments from the first of two letters of 1960-61 that Feyerabend wrote to Kuhn concerning a draft copy of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (SSR), on which Feyerabend was commenting. He objected that in SSR … Continue reading

Posted in Feyerabend, History and Philosophy of Science, History of Science, Philosophy of History, Philosophy of Science | 4 Comments