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已有 4261 次阅读 2008-9-29 13:35 |个人分类:未分类

Paul K. Feyerabend's Philosophy
Haiyan Yan
To give a picture about the idea of Paul K. Feyerabend as real as possible in this paper, I am going to let Paul K. Feyerabend speak himself as much as possible. Because according to him, any interpretation is not 100% reflection of reality. In this case, my interpretation could not 100% reflect his real idea. For my understanding, the deviation of interpretation from reality (the word he used to express the real exist) may brought by my knowledge limits and thus the perception of mine could not really represent his idea.
Against Method
"All Methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits."
He criticized rationalism, idealism, realism, pragmatism, naturalism, instrumentalism, positivism, falsificationism, conventionalism, empiricism,Marxism,, liberalism, and so on. 1991. ), "Dangerous philosophies... ...contain elements that paralyze our judgment."( Feyerabend P.K., 1995.). He suggested that "take science on its own terms" ( Feyerabend P.K. 1991.).
"all forms of rationalism ... not only offer a distorted and unrealistic picture of science, they would seriously impede science, when used as a boundary condition of research" (Feyerabend P.K., 1995.). " Rationalism inner coherence of its products, the apparent reasonableness of its principles, the success of the sciences provides it with an almost superhuman authority...Popper use these elements and add a paralyzing ingredient of his own simplicity. The false assumption of falsifiability ......would wipe out science as we know it" (Feyerabend P. K., 1995.).
About positivism, he said: "the first objection is that according to positivism statements describing causally independent situations will yet be semantically dependent; the second objection is that a change of our knowledge concerning a situation is causally independent of another situation will yet imply a change in the interpretation of the terms of . Both objections are based upon the principle (which I shall call the principle of semantic independence) that the inter pretation of a statement describing a situation which is causally independent of the situation described by another statement, should be independent of the interpretation of this latter statement." (Feyerabend P.K., 1973, ).
In objection to realism: " According to the realistic interpretation a scientific theory aims at a description of states of affairs, or properties of physical systems which transcends experience can only be singular), but also insofar as it disregards all the theory may influence the observer or his measuring instrument". Newtonian's description on structure of the planetary system without consideration of disturbances experienced by the light during the trip from sun to earth (Feyerabend P.K., 1973).
"......Objectivists......universalize the laws that rule within the boundaries of the preferred subject while relativists insist on the restricted validity of the laws, within the same boundaries. But I tried to show in AM and also in 'Science in a Free Society 'there exists no definition of science that covers all possible developments and there is no form of life that cannot absorb radically new situations." ( Feyerabend P.K., 1991. )
So he conclude:
"the world, including the world of science, is a complex and scattered entity that cannot be captured by theories and simple rules". (Feyerabend P. K. , 1995.)
He suggests that The interpretation of a scientific theory depends upon nothing but the state of affairs it describes. "If a theory is to be meaningful at all, its interpretation must go beyond whatever counts as its 'empirical content'"
For the attitude he held, he was named as "Anarchism", "Relativism" etc. , and he denied all these.
In his paper "On the 'Meaning' of Scientific Terms" In Theories and Observations in Science(Feyerabend P.K., 1973), He talked about the development of scientific theories, "We want to analyze, to explain, to justify, and perhaps occasionally to correct 'the common knowledge' (which may also be the scientific knowledge of the preceding generation) by relating it to new theoretical ideas rather than to interpret such ideas as new ways of talking about what is already well known." , "......regarding theoret ical principles as fundamental and giving secondary place to the 'local grammar,' that is, to those peculiarities of the usage of our terms which come forth in their application in concrete and, possibly, observable situations. subject the local grammar to the theories we possess rather than to interpret the theories in the light of the knowledge or alleged knowledge that is expressed in our everyday actions."
During the development of science, "if change of meaning ...... introduces rules which cannot be interpreted as attributing specific properties to objects within already existing classes, but which change the system of classes itself."
"We can relate the 'local grammar' of well known expressions to different theories in different ways and thereby give them different meanings....., ...Two theories could not have a common core of meaning......"
And his opinion on a good theory was that "Any good theory....are part of...the process of knowledge acquisition from the outside, ...influenced by this process in uncontrollable ways, and they are rather restricted in scope." ( Feyerabend P.K., 1991)






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