Paul Feyerabend

  • Born January 11th 1924

    Born January 11th 1924
    Boring into a middle-class Viennese family, times were hard in the 1920's. The aftermath of the first World War gave life famines, hunger, riots, and inflation. Paul was borin into poverty and grew to be a strange child, whose activities were centered around his own family and he was cut off from neighbors as well as other children. He lived a sheltered childhood right from the start.
  • Youth

    Born in Vienna, he was a son of a civil servant and a seamstress. They were a middle class family and in the aftermath of World War I. There was famine, hunger, riots, and high inflation. Paul lived in a 3-room apartment, and all his activitied centered around his own family, cut off from neighbors, and other children. He was a sickly child, and ran away once when he was five years old. When he finally came into contact with other people, he found them to be strange and had no idea what to do.
  • High School

    High School
    Feyerabend attended Realgymnasium where he learned Latin, English, and science. At one point, he almost got thrown out of school and ended up knowing more about physics and math more than his teachers. His teachers recalled him as being a strange and unusual teen.
  • The War

    The War
    Feyerabend passed high school exams and graduated in 1942, still as a deranged individual. From there, he was drafted into the Arbeitsdienst, a work service introduced by the Nazi's, and was sent to Pirmasens, Germany for basic training.
  • Post War

    Post War
    The war took a toll on him, with damage to his spine from a bullet, he was impotent for the rest of his life. He ended up going to the mayor of Apolda and ask for a job in which he was assigned to the education section and given an office.
  • Return to Vienna

    Return to Vienna
    Still on crutches, he moved back to Vienna and planned to study physics, maths, and astronomy. He grew bored of all other subjects and decided his concern was with real life. Together a group of science students invaded philosophy lectures and seminars. This seemed to cement his interests and recalls that he took a radical positivist line that science is the basis of knowledge. By August of 1948, he met Karl Popper and his ideas were not new to him.
  • Against Method

    Against Method
    Throughout his debates and movements throughout philosophy, he is now known for The Against Method. He argues that scientific advances can only be understood in a historical context. He looks at the way the philosophy of science has consistently overemphasized practice over method. He considers the possibility that anarchism could replace rationalism in the theory of knowledge.
  • Paul Feyerabend's End of Life

    Paul Feyerabend's End of Life
    Paul's last years alive were spent teaching at Berkley University and challenging the question of "What is science? What is knowledge?" His critique of science itself, his conclusion that there may be nothing to choose between claims of science and those of astrology, voodoo, and alternative medicine, as well as his concern for environmental issues ensured that he was a hero of the anti-technological counter-culture.