The Book Depository The Tyranny of Science by Paul K. Feyerabend

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The Book Depository The Tyranny of Science by Paul K. Feyerabend
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Description: The Tyranny of Science : Paperback : Polity Press : 9780745651903 : 0745651909 : 03 May 2011 : * Feyerabend was one of the most important philosophers of science of the second half of the 20th century. His most famous book, Against Method, was an international bestseller that sold hundreds of thousands of copies. * This book is based on one of the last texts he wrote, shortly before he died in 1994.

 

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Author: Teresa Orduña Martí

Rating: 5

Review: terms using in the book point at useful language to explain science

 

Author: Alan Michael Forrester

Rating: 1

Review: "The Tyranny of Science" by Paul Feyerabend portrays science wrongly and makes basic logical errors, so I cannot possibly recommend that anybody read it. Many people who might want to read this book will think that scientists are high handed and that Feyerabend is going to cut them down to size. I think some ideas that are currently regarded as scientific and are used to "justify" bad policies. For example some scientists try to rate the "harmfulness" of drugs and then use that to justify banning some drugs and not others. These scientists don't seem to know that there is a moral issue involved: does the government have any right to imprison a person for taking a drug? Claims to settle moral questions using science are wrongheaded. So does Feyerabend attack this sort of bad argument? No. What does Feyerabend write? He claims that there are people who have lots of good practical ideas, such as ideas instantiated in traditional ways of life among tribes and so on. He further claims that theoretical scientists who criticise these practical people are bad and that we can't really know all this theoretical stuff. This argument is pathetic. Feyerabend doesn't seem to get that every judgement that anybody ever makes involves abstractions that are just as fallible and theoretical as those made by theoretical scientists. For example, I am looking out the window at a tree. And now I have just looked out the window again at the same tree. "Surely this can't be theoretical?" I hear you cry. Yes it is. The tree makes a slightly differetn pattern of light and shade on my retina on the two occasions I look at it. The idea that it is the same tree both times is a conjecture. And even if it happened by some chance to make exactly the same pattern, that might mislead me because it is perfectly possible for two different objects to look the same. For example, all new iPods look alike, but they're not actually all identical to one another. See Section 25 ofThe Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge Classics) . Furthermore, his excessive respect for traditional ways of life is just a form of blind optimism that refuses to acknowledge problems in that way of life, such as bad medical care and the inability to generate knowledge of better medical practice as a result of the oppression required to stop people from deviating from that tradition. For arguments about this and the criticisms and ideas discussed in the previous paragraphs seeThe Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform The World (Allen Lane Science) . And by taking sides with this oppression, Feyerabend is siding with evil. So in conclusion, I can't see a single redeeming feature in this book. It contains bad arguments for ideas that are very bad.

 

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