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Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend Paperback – Nov 15 1996
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If you view the Philosophy professor as a stodgy old curmudgeon wrapped up in theories, and forever spouting eminently sensible nonsense, Paul Feyerabend's autobiography may change your view. Then again, it may not, because he held the same view himself. Iconoclast, non-conformist and brilliant philosopher, Feyerabend reveals his roots through unadorned, journalist-style prose -- his childhood in Vienna, his aspirations to sing opera, his stint in World War II as a German soldier, his time with Popper in London, his love affairs, marriage and even a little philosophy for good measure.
From the Back Cover
Finished only weeks before Paul Feyerabend's death in 1994, Killing Time is a self-portrait of one this century's most original and influential intellectuals. Writing about 'big' science and 'big' philosophy, his experience in the German army, his innumerable love affairs, and the controversy he regularly provoked.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Also includes his bookish, only-child upbringing; his horribly depressed mother and her suicide in his teens; his adult depressions; his affairs and marriages; and finally, his mature love for the beautiful Graziana, which allowed him some actual truth in this life. It ends with Graziana's reminder that most of Feyerabend's life was spent in chronic pain, the result of a gunshot to his groin during the Nazi retreat from Russia. That was the injury which rendered him sexually impotent at 20 - a recurring theme in the story.
By the last page, I was in tears. Imagine tears of compassion after reading the words of that anarchist maniac who wrote "Against Method"!! But tears there were. It's a very good book.
Only when Feyerabend approached the final fifteen years of his life and settled as a professor in the philosophy of science in Zürich - after having lectured four decades at Anglo-American universities - he started to relax. And eventually, a woman came and set things right. In 1983 he met the Italian physicist Grazia Borrini for the first time. Five years later they married. His relationship with Mrs. Borrini must have been the single most important event in Feyerabend's life. Reading his autobiography is an experience akin to listening to Sibelius' tone-poem 'Nightride and Sunrise': after 1983 the colours change dramatically and his prose is infused with warmth and immense gratefulness. It is a delight to read his rapt eulogies on the companion of the last decade of his life, on his most fortunate discovery of true love and friendship. Indeed, although Feyerabend is not interested in 'spoiling' his autobiography with an extensive reiteration of his philosophical positions, there are a few messages he clearly wants to drive home. The central role in life of love and friendship is one of them. Without these "even the noblest achievements and the most fundamental principles remain pale, empty and dangerous" (p. 173).Read more ›