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Feyerabend: Philosophy, Science and Society Paperback – Illustrated, Aug 4 1997


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'This is a brave, direct, competent, insightful and sympathetic exposition of the total output of one of the best-known, most admired, least comprehended philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. It is a fair critical assessment of Feyerabend's work as intriguing and inspired but as falling short of his goal.' Joseph Agassi, York University, Ontario, Canada

'Preston provides a sympathetic but critical account of Feyerabend's work. The scope is comprehensive and the treatment is fair-minded, sensible and thoroughly professional. The content is certainly better than anything I have encountered on Feyerabend. It can be read by those who have not read Feyerabend and by those whose acquaintance with philosophy of science is limited or non-existent.' William Newton-Smith, Balliol College, Oxford

'John Preston has done us a signal service in charting the chages in Feyerabend's thought and in sympathetically explaining why he thought what he did.' Mind

From the Back Cover

This book is the first comprehensive critical study of the work of Paul Feyerabend, one of the foremost twentieth-century philosophers of science.


The book traces the evolution of Feyerabend's thought, beginning with his early attempt to graft insights from Wittgenstein's conception of meaning onto Popper's falsificationist philosophy. The key elements of Feyerabend's model of the acquisition of knowledge are identified and critically evaluated. Feyerabend's early work emerges as a continuation of Popper's philosophy of science, rather than as a contribution to the historical approach to science with which he is usually associated.
In his more notorious later work, Feyerabend claimed that there was, and should be, no such thing as the scientific method. The roots of Feyerabend's 'epistemological anarchism' are exposed and the weaknesses of his cultural relativism are brought out.


Throughout the book, Preston discusses the influence of Feyerabend's thought on contemporary philosophers and traces his stimulating but divided legacy. The book will be of interest to students of philosophy, methodology, and the social sciences.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A useful introduction to Feyerabend Sept. 8 2014
By David Walters - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
John Preston's Feyerabend: Philosophy, Science and Society is a useful introduction to its subject, controversial philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend. The book is dryly written, and beginners in philosophy in particular are likely to find parts of it somewhat difficult to follow, but overall it provides an engaging and worthwhile account of Feyerabend's work, and can be recommended. Preston finds Feyerabend important, but does not hesitate to criticize him on numerous points. I, for one, found reading Preston more helpful than reading Feyerabend's Against Method.


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