Paul Feyerabend

  • Birth

    Born to a civil servant and a seamstress in Vienna, Austria.
  • Arbeitsdienst

    Inducted into the Arbeitsdienst, a Nazi-instituted labor force.
  • Fellowship

    Joined the “Cultural Association for the Democratic Reform of Germany”
  • Draft

    Drafted into the German army's Pioneer Corps. He was assigned to a unit in Querlern en Bas.. Volunteered for Officers' School following basic training.
  • Mother's suicide

    Learns his mother has taken her own life.
  • Disability

    On the Eastern Front, he served as an officer. He was promoted to lieutenant. He was struck in the spine by three bullets as the red army advanced and was thus forced to walk with a cane for the rest of his life.
  • Iron Cross

    Iron Cross
    Decorated, Iron Cross.
  • 1945

    During the Russian Army's retreat, he was shot in the hand and the stomach. His spinal nerves were affected by the gunshot.
  • Return to University

    Returned home to Vienna to complete his university studies in history and sociology. quickly moved to physics. Published first article on the idea of visualization in contemporary physics. At the time, he was considered "a raving positivist."
  • Karl Popper

    Introduced to Karl Popper for the first time at the first meeting of the international summer seminar (Alpbach) of the Austrian College. Became secretary of the seminars. Met Walter Hollitscher. Married first wife, Edeltrud.
  • Doctorate

    Achieves his doctorate studying philsophy at the University of Vienna with a thesis on observational statements under Victor Krafts, an Austrian philosopher.
  • Rejection of Falasilibility

    Paul Feyerabend did not agree with Karl Poppers theory on Falasilibility.He believed when scientists conducted research there was no way to tell between pseudoscience and legitimate science.
  • Eliminative Materialism

    "How to be a Good Empiricist” was published, a paper summing up his point of view, along with his two main articles on the Mind/Body Problem in which he introduced the position now known as “eliminative materialism”
  • Giving Up on Empiricism

    Feyerabend finally gave up on trying to be an empiricist in a brief essay titled "Science Without Experience," in which he claimed that, in theory, experience is not required at any stage during the development, understanding, or testing of empirical scientific ideas.
  • Death of Imre Lakatos

    Death of friend Imre Lakatos ending their plans to produce a volume dialogue together.
  • Book Against Method

    Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge. He argued that only feasible explanations of scientific successes are explanations must now replace a rational statement or experiment in the theory of knowledge.
  • Epistemological Anarchism

    Epistemological anarchism, according to Paul Feyerabend, is the idea that scientists should use unconventional approaches. As a result, it was impossible to distinguish between science and pseudoscience.
  • Period: to


    Responds to most of the major reviewers of Against Method. Gets depressed. Published his first major article on relativism: the first time he outright endorsed the view.
  • Period: to


    Split time between the University of Berkeley and Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, Switzlerland.
  • Rehabilitation

    Releases "Science as an Art," in which he argues for a history of science that is overtly relativistic and holds that there is change but no "progress." He also keeps up his effort to clean up Ernst Mach.
  • Forefront

    Relativism again at the forefront, especially in its “Protagorean” version.
  • Period: to


    Retired from Burkley, then Zurich.
  • Opposition

    Signs of an increasing unhappiness with relativism in Feyerabend’s publications around this time. But still vigorously opposed to “objectivism”.
  • Tumor

    Feyerabend developed an inoperable brain tumour and was hospitalized
  • Killing Time

    Killing Time, an autobiography about his life and his rise as a philosopher, is published weeks before his death.
  • Death

    Numerous significant memorial symposia and colloquia on Feyerabend's work were held over the course of the following two years. Feyerabend passed away from a brain tumor in the Genolier clinic in Genolier, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.
  • Posthumous Publication

    Conquest of Abundance published.