Feyerabend and the pedagogy of irritation : an introduction

Kenklies, K. and Engelmann, S.; Kenklies, Karsten and Engelmann, Sebastian, eds. (2024) Feyerabend and the pedagogy of irritation : an introduction. In: Education for a Free Society. Paedagogica . Peter Lang, New York, NY, pp. 1-9. ISBN 9781636676968 (https://doi.org/10.3726/b21660)

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He was the enfant terrible of Philosophy, or more specifically: of the Philosophy of Science – Paul Feyerabend. It might not be an exaggeration to state that Feyerabend was one of the most influential forces that changed the Philosophy of Science in the second half of the 20th century. He contributed to that seminal colloquium in London 1965, which – even though it was chaired by the more traditional Karl R. Popper – represented a new, historically and sociologically informed way of doing Philosophy of Science in discussing the ideas of Thomas S. Kuhn. Feyerabend, whose contribution is presented in Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge (Lakatos/ Musgrave 1970) arguably offered one of the highlights of that meeting in comparing modern science to organised crime. Based on his intimate knowledge of the history of the sciences and of the contemporary state of especially physics, his background in philosophy, and his genuine interest in the arts, Feyerabend never missed an opportunity to challenge prevalent views of the sciences and philosophy. Even though his seemingly anarchistic views often outraged the established circles of academia, it is, at least partially, to his credit that our understanding of the sciences and philosophy, of their proceedings and their influence in society, are viewed with a much more critical eye.