|"The complete review's Review:
Feyerabend's text, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of
Knowledge, remains among the more contentious and influential philosophical
works of the past decades. Feyerabend was already a well-known philosopher of science by
the time it first appeared in essay form (1970; the book version was published 1975), a
one-time student and sometime follower of Karl Popper at the London School of Economics,
and a lecturer (and then professor) at Berkeley since 1958.
A free spirit in mind and action, he moved radically away from Popperian theories of
scientific progress and formulated an anarchic theory of his own. His approach has -- somewhat too simplistically -- been reduced to the
idea of: "Anything goes." (Though, in fact, he expressly states that
"'anything goes' does not express any conviction of mine".)
Feyerabend argued "against method,"
insisting that science must be far more open and willing to examine all possibilities --
none of which were, per se, better than any other. It made for a fun class he
taught, especially in the tumultuous late-60s, as he took to inviting Creationists,
Darwinists, witches, and anyone else with an opinion to spar in front of his students --
scenes that are nicely described both in his autobiography (Killing Time) and in many of
the letters to Imre Lakatos included in this volume. "