The rise of Western rationalism: Paul Feyerabend’s story
Preston, J. (2016) The rise of Western rationalism: Paul Feyerabend’s story. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 57. pp. 79-86. ISSN 0039-3681
To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2015.11.013
I summarise certain aspects of Paul Feyerabend’s account of the development of Western rationalism, show the ways in which that account is supposed to run up against an alternative, that of Karl Popper, and then try to give a preliminary comparison of the two. My interest is primarily in whether what Feyerabend called his ‘story’ constitutes a possible history of our epistemic concepts and their trajectory. I express some grave reservations about that story, and about Feyerabend’s framework, finding Popper’s views less problematic here. However, I also suggest that one important aspect of Feyerabend’s material, his treatment of religious belief, can be given an interpretation which makes it tenable, and perhaps preferable to a Popperian approach.