Anything goes

“A scientist who wishes to maximize the empirical content ofthe views he holds and who wants to understand them as clearly as he possibly can must therefore introduce other views; that is, he must adopt a pluralistic methodology. He must compare ideas with other ideas rather than with ‘experience’ and he must try to improve rather than discard the views that have failed in the competition.

(…) it is not a gradual approach to the truth. It is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible alternatives, each single theory, each fairy-tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others into greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition, to the development of our consciousness. Nothing is ever settled, no view can ever be omitted from a comprehensive account.

(…) The task of the scientist, however, is no longer ‘to search for the truth’, or ‘to praise god’, or ‘to systematize observations’, or ‘to improve predictions’. These are but side effects of an activity to which his attention is now mainly directed and which is ‘to make the weaker case the stronger‘ as the sophists said, and thereby to sustain the motion ofthe whole.”

Feyerabend — Against Method

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