Epistemological Anarchism Meets Epistemic Voluntarism: Feyerabend’s Against Method and van Fraassen’s The Empirical Stance

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Abstract

In this chapter, I shall compare and contrast central themes of Paul Feyerabend’s best-known work, Against Method (1975a, subsequently AM) with pivotal ideas of Bas van Fraassen’s 2002 book, The Empirical Stance (subsequently ES). The comparison appears fruitful for two reasons: first, because van Fraassen is one of the few contemporary philosophers of science who continue to engage closely and charitably with Feyerabend’s work; and, second, because van Fraassen disagrees with some of Feyerabend’s central contentions. Here, I do not have the space to determine conclusively who of the two philosophers is right where they take different views on a given question; I shall be satisfied to clearly identify the issues and disputes that need further reflection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterpreting Feyerabend
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Essays
EditorsKarim Bschir, Jamie Shaw
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages89-113
ISBN (Print)9781108471992
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 603113 Philosophy

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