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He objected to any single prescriptive scientific method on the grounds that any such method would limit the activities of scientists, and hence restrict scientific progress.
In his view, science would benefit most from a "dose" of theoretical anarchism. He also thought that theoretical anarchism was desirable because it was more humanitarian than other systems of organization, by not imposing rigid rules on scientists.
For is it not possible that science as we know it today, or a "search for the truth" in the style of traditional philosophy, will create a monster?
Is it not possible that an objective approach that frowns upon personal connections between the entities examined will harm people, turn them into miserable, unfriendly, self-righteous mechanisms without charm or humour? Feyerabend's position was originally seen as radical in the philosophy of science, because it implies that philosophy can neither succeed in providing a general description of science, nor in devising a method for differentiating products of science from non-scientific entities like myths.
Feyerabend's position also implies that philosophical guidelines should be ignored by scientists, if they are to aim for progress. To support his position that methodological rules generally do not contribute to scientific success, Feyerabend provides counterexamples to the claim that good science operates according to a certain fixed method.
He took some examples of episodes in science that are generally regarded as indisputable instances of progress e.
Moreover, he claimed that applying such rules in these historical situations would actually have prevented scientific revolution.
One of the criteria for evaluating scientific theories that Feyerabend attacks is the consistency criterion. He points out that to insist that new theories be consistent with old theories gives an unreasonable advantage to the older theory. He makes the logical point that being compatible with a defunct older theory does not increase the validity or truth of a new theory over an alternative covering the same content.
That is, if one had to choose between two theories of equal explanatory power, to choose the one that is compatible with an older, falsified theory is to make an aestheticrather than a rational choice. The familiarity of such a theory might also make it more appealing to scientists, since they will not have to disregard as many cherished prejudices.
Hence, that theory can be said to have "an unfair advantage". Feyerabend was also critical of falsificationism. He argued that no interesting theory is ever consistent with all the relevant facts. Feyerabend uses several examples, but " renormalization " in quantum mechanics provides an example of his intentionally provocative style: Thus one admits, implicitly, that the theory is in trouble while formulating it in a manner suggesting that a new principle has been discovered" Against Method.
Feyerabend is not advocating that scientists do not make use of renormalization or other ad hoc methods. Instead, he is arguing that such methods are essential to the progress of science for several reasons. One of these reasons is that progress in science is uneven.
For instance, in the time of Galileooptical theory could not account for phenomena that were observed by means of telescopes. So, astronomers who used telescopic observation had to use ad hoc rules until they could justify their assumptions by means of optical theory.
Feyerabend was critical of any guideline that aimed to judge the quality of scientific theories by comparing them to known facts. He thought that previous theory might influence natural interpretations of observed phenomena. Scientists necessarily make implicit assumptions when comparing scientific theories to facts that they observe.
Such assumptions need to be changed in order to make the new theory compatible with observations. The main example of the influence of natural interpretations that Feyerabend provided was the tower argument.
The tower argument was one of the main objections against the theory of a moving earth. Aristotelians assumed that the fact that a stone which is dropped from a tower lands directly beneath it shows that the earth is stationary.
They thought that, if the earth moved while the stone was falling, the stone would have been "left behind".Our essay writing service writes your papers with traditionally flawless quality still at affordable prices! ☔ Safe and Reliable No plagiarism ⏰ On time. Quality academic help from professional paper & essay writing service.
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