Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Farewell to Reason [Paperback]

Paul Feyerabend
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 30.00
Price: CDN$ 24.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 6.00 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Tuesday, July 29? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $24.00  
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Jan. 17 1988
Farewell to Reason offers a vigorous challenge to the scientific rationalism that underlies Western ideals of “progress” and “development,” whose damaging social and ecological consequences are now widely recognized. 

For all their variety in theme and occasion, the essays in this book share a consistent philosophical purpose. Whether discussing Greek art and thought, vindicating the church’s battle with Galileo, exploring the development of quantum physics or exposing the dogmatism of Karl Popper, Feyerabend defends a relativist and historicist notion of the sciences. The appeal to reason, he insists, is empty, and must be replaced by a notion of science that subordinates it to the needs of citizens and communities.

Provocative, polemical and rigorously argued, Farewell to Reason will infuriate Feyerabend’s critics and delight his many admirers.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From Library Journal

Feyerabend's previous popular work, Against Method (1975), established him as an outspoken, controversial critic of the scientific and philosophical establishments. This collection of essays attacks what he considers to be the well-entrenched academic notions of "truth" and "fact." He believes that such rigid conceptions of realityillustrated in chapters on relativism, the early Greek philosophers, and the works of Aristotle, Galileo, Einstein, Popper, and othersdeprive Western culture of its diversity and creativity. His call for a "philosophy of cultural relativism" is a unique, provocative idea sure to stir debate. An important book for philosophy of science collections. Raymond Frey, Bergen Community Coll., Paramus, N.J.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“An audacious thinker, a brilliant polemicist, an iconoclast.”—Publishers Weekly

“This is a lovely book. Feyerabend’s prose is sparkling and his writing is deeply learned.”—New Statesman

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
3 star
0
1 star
0
3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An energetic read. May 13 2002
Format:Paperback
Once again Paul Feyerabend has produced an energetic commentary on the modern philosophical constructs of the philosophy of science, especially those of Popper. In this, his second book, he concentrates on the main on answering negative comments on his earlier book "Against Method" by various philsophers of science such as Popper and Putnam. Although this seems to occupy his attentions there are chapters on various aspects such as Xenophanes, Greek Gods, a fascinating chapter on Aristotle's theory of the continuum, the role of theories in science, relativism and a very interesting and rare discussion of Mach's theory of research.
As usual his groundwork is thorough, although not as detailed as that in "Against Method", and full of interesting asides which both support the argument and fascinate the reader. His energy is infectious although some of his comments are quite abrasive especially those concerning Popper. It compares well to the first book and is far better than his last "Conquest of Abundance" which seemed tired by comparison and lacking the zest of the earlier works such as this one and the first. To me, the two outstanding chapters are the ones on Mach and Aristotle which alone make the book worth buying. Feyerabend is a rare breed of philosopher in that he does not construct systematic theories but rather deconstructs existing ones and criticises them consistently at the same time giving credence to his ideas of relativism which are quite at odds with the usual interpretation of this idea. Feyerabend does not constrain himself overly in the sense of a solid theoretical basis prefering to remain loose and free to move.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So what does Feyerabend believe? Feb. 11 2003
Format:Paperback
A short while ago, I wrote a favorable review of "Against Method" by Paul Feyerabend. This book, though, is much more difficult to swallow. Feyerabend suggests that many Western intellectuals (by this, he usually means Karl Popper) are skeptical of relativism and after reading this, I can see why. Feyerabend is almost too good at what he does. The relativism, or Rorty-like 'pragmatism', that he seems to champion, undercuts him at every turn.
First, this book focuses more on culture than scientific belifs. Feyerabend makes clear from the get-go that he is a believer in 'democratic relativism" - literally, that what works for one culture may not work for another. This is really not a radical view untill you take Feyerabends conclusion that because of this, there can be no objective truths, standards, or even critierion for deciphering either. Here's how he undercuts himself though. For Feyerabend, this relativism demands that we recognize our ability to learn from other cultures, engage in dialogue and even argue from time to time. The problem is that if reason is just as good (no better) than any other way of proceeding, it is difficult to imagine how dialogue can proceed, outside of a reasoned structure. At the end of the first essay, Feyerabend stretches further still. If quarks and gods are both theoretical (that is, not empirical) then isn't it strange to regard quarks as more 'real' than gods. Well, Paul, not if you consider that quarks are a) open to falsification, b) accountable to scientific prediction that CAN falsify them and c) have so far enabled us to make accurate predictions without being falsified, then I guess the answer is "no".
Many readers will also read this book as a diatribe against Karl Popper.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An energetic read. May 13 2002
By Frank Bierbrauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Once again Paul Feyerabend has produced an energetic commentary on the modern philosophical constructs of the philosophy of science, especially those of Popper. In this, his second book, he concentrates on the main on answering negative comments on his earlier book "Against Method" by various philsophers of science such as Popper and Putnam. Although this seems to occupy his attentions there are chapters on various aspects such as Xenophanes, Greek Gods, a fascinating chapter on Aristotle's theory of the continuum, the role of theories in science, relativism and a very interesting and rare discussion of Mach's theory of research.
As usual his groundwork is thorough, although not as detailed as that in "Against Method", and full of interesting asides which both support the argument and fascinate the reader. His energy is infectious although some of his comments are quite abrasive especially those concerning Popper. It compares well to the first book and is far better than his last "Conquest of Abundance" which seemed tired by comparison and lacking the zest of the earlier works such as this one and the first. To me, the two outstanding chapters are the ones on Mach and Aristotle which alone make the book worth buying. Feyerabend is a rare breed of philosopher in that he does not construct systematic theories but rather deconstructs existing ones and criticises them consistently at the same time giving credence to his ideas of relativism which are quite at odds with the usual interpretation of this idea. Feyerabend does not constrain himself overly in the sense of a solid theoretical basis prefering to remain loose and free to move. There are many advantages to this process although it does not introduce new ideas or concepts which by themselves could lead to further insights, this is possible without stagnation or a crystallisation of views which often occurs. He is also aware of his own propensity to intellectualise, something which he tries to supplement with a kind of living discourse which partly compensates.
An energetic read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Defence of relativism Oct. 20 2009
By Edward Mariyani-Squire - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is really a collection of essays, rather than a single sustained argument. The first essay on "Notes on Relativism" is interesting in its characterisation of different versions of the notorious idea. The Feyerabendian theme is present throughout all the essays: that 'there is no single method of discovering truth in science' is extended to other areas more explicitly, esp. cultural phenomena - e.g. "Progress in Philosophy, Science and the Arts". Some essays are focused on topics of debate that arise out of Against Method - e.g. "Putnam on Incommensurability". As usual, he presents an audacious defense of absurd and unpopular ideas - e.g. that the Greek gods were real, and that Ernst Mach, vis-a-vis Einstein, wasn't so philosophically backward after all. The essay on Popper is typically uncharitable, and even mean, but entertaining for precisely that reason.
39 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So what does Feyerabend believe? Feb. 11 2003
By Kevin Currie-Knight - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A short while ago, I wrote a favorable review of "Against Method" by Paul Feyerabend. This book, though, is much more difficult to swallow. Feyerabend suggests that many Western intellectuals (by this, he usually means Karl Popper) are skeptical of relativism and after reading this, I can see why. Feyerabend is almost too good at what he does. The relativism, or Rorty-like 'pragmatism', that he seems to champion, undercuts him at every turn.
First, this book focuses more on culture than scientific belifs. Feyerabend makes clear from the get-go that he is a believer in 'democratic relativism" - literally, that what works for one culture may not work for another. This is really not a radical view untill you take Feyerabends conclusion that because of this, there can be no objective truths, standards, or even critierion for deciphering either. Here's how he undercuts himself though. For Feyerabend, this relativism demands that we recognize our ability to learn from other cultures, engage in dialogue and even argue from time to time. The problem is that if reason is just as good (no better) than any other way of proceeding, it is difficult to imagine how dialogue can proceed, outside of a reasoned structure. At the end of the first essay, Feyerabend stretches further still. If quarks and gods are both theoretical (that is, not empirical) then isn't it strange to regard quarks as more 'real' than gods. Well, Paul, not if you consider that quarks are a) open to falsification, b) accountable to scientific prediction that CAN falsify them and c) have so far enabled us to make accurate predictions without being falsified, then I guess the answer is "no".
Many readers will also read this book as a diatribe against Karl Popper. I would urge these readers, if they've not read Popper, to first read either "Conjectures and Refutations" or "Objective Knowledge". Many of Feyerabends characterizations are wrong. Feyerabend constantly underestimates Popper's recongintion of theory and ideology in conjectures and observations. Feyerabend also miscarachterizes Popper's falsification as a view that as soon as an individual sees her theory falsified, she should abandon it as quick as possible. Nope! She should defend it while keeping in mind that she could be wrong. Third, Feyerabend misconstrues Popper as an elitist of science who claims that Western scientific conclusions are the most valid. Popper would be the first to admit that good ideas can come from anywhere. Popper's only suggestion is that matriculation of those ideas into our lives involves making up our minds, which involves reason and that empirical methods are good insofar as they HAVE TO BE the common denominator of intersubjective discussion. Overall, Feyerabends conclusions are all-in-all self defeating, his arguments are largely misunderstandings and his book is verging on being a waste of time.
5.0 out of 5 stars Aman of his age Sept. 7 2013
By Phillip F. Crenshaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Feyerabend speaks to us in a timeless way. He speaks the truth about our age and time.
He transcends run of the mill philosophy to point our the flaws in our world view.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relativism Will Be the Next Saving Idea for the Catholic Church Aug. 30 2011
By Peter P. Fuchs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
History, especially the religious kind, is merely depressing and no fun, unless you take the wide view. One needs the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride attitude to really enjoy the contradictions, I think. Thus, long ago the Catholic Church condemned Nominalism, and later, endorsed it (at Constance.) Now they are great anathematizers of "Relativsm". But if our fun history is a guide, later they will embrace it a a new conceptual savior. And it will help them save their own history too. This quote from one Barry Stocker, from a Catholic blog, gives an idea of how that might actually work, and is perfect for the point, even though it is not clear Stocker is a Catholic:

""Feyerabend argues that the Church was philosophically justified in opposing Galileo because its arguments against Galileo were those of Instrumentalist Philosophy of Science. They demanded that Galileo recognise that Copernican theory was a useful instrument in predicting observations, but was not true. I believe that Popper made the same comparison in *Conjectures and Refutations* but in order to attack Instrumentalism. Feyerabend's argument on the social and ethical aspect is that the Chucrh had an integrated world view in which Scripture defines the horizons of knowledge. Such a view is also a view about social harmony based on scriptural values. Since there is no correct method or final truth in science, it is perfectly reasonable for the Church to limit knowledge in that way, particularly as science develops through external impulses not through internally consistent method. Galileo himself was dishonest and inconsistent in both supporting and opposing Church doctrine. He was not harshly treated by the standards of the time, as he was merely placed under house arrest. On Feyerabend as provocateur, someone who studied with Lakatos and is now at UCl confirmed the impression to me fairly recently that Feyerabend wrote in a very rhetorical and provocative way without regard to whether he fully supported the positions he was using to make his anti-Rationalist points, at that time."

Catholic relativism is surely the next big thing!
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback