Paul Feyerabend's Notion of Epistemological Anarchism

2886 Words12 Pages
What does Paul Feyerabend’s notion of “Epistemological Anarchism” mean? Evaluate this in relation to his critique of Kuhn’s Paradigms. While Emphasizing the subjective side of science, Kuhn claimed that operating within science means existing within the restrictive confines of the dominant paradigm, which attempts to limit particular questions that can be asked, how these are asked, and how their answers are formulated into viable scientific facts that are accepted by fellow scientists. This paradigm, in turn may actually obstruct the progress of science by nature of being untranslatable to other paradigms and impede rational argument. Kuhn states that a scientist’s switch between one paradigm to the next is similar to a “gestalt switch” where neural programming is required rather than argument and persuasion. Paul Feyerabend also outlined science as a discipline harmed by a dogmatic acceptance of dominant methodological frameworks. Feyerabend argued that Kuhn’s paradigm model had painted too simple of a picture of science and he therefore proposed the idea that there should be no specific method in which to ensure the objectivity of science. He believes both logical and illogical ideas may be allowed to progress in science and therefore science is better served when we accept “Epistemological anarchism” as opposed to Kuhn “law and order science.” For this essay I will compare and contrast Kuhn and Feyerabend’s models as they pertain to the rhetoric of science. Feyerebend gives rhetoric and argument a function in the sphere of science and nowhere is this made clearer than in Kuhn and Feyerabend’s respective disagreements on the issue of Incommensurability which is denoted as the difficulty to determine which theory is more accurate than the other. By examining this issue we also examine the issue of translation. Kuhn and Feyerabend were

More about Paul Feyerabend's Notion of Epistemological Anarchism

Open Document