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    • 06/26/2010

    One of the least understood and most frequently maligned books in the philosophy of science is Paul K. Feyerabend's Against Method. Employing the historical method, Feyerabend showed that all forms of the so-called "scientific method" had been violated—usually on several occasions—by scientists in the past when coming up with and developing their theories. This meant that a rigid insistence on the methods suggested by scientists and philosophers of science alike would have resulted in the early death of many theories we now consider important. He asked the inevitable question: should scientists get rid of the restrictive ideas on scientific method or should the scientists of old have abandoned their theories? The only "method" that could take account of the history of science would be "anything goes", which is no method at all. By means of this reductio ad absurdum, he arrived at the now-standard conclusion that there is no such thing as scientific method.

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