Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994)

Timeline created by Kaitlin.hutsell00
  • Early Life

    Paul Feyerabend was born in 1924 in Vienna to a middle-class family. This was after WW1, which meant that times were difficult during his youth (Preston 2016). According this his autobiography Killing Time, Feyerabend spent a lot of time in his family’s home and didn’t interact much with other children outside of his home; this made school hard for him (Preston 2016). When he finally adjusted to primary school, he found himself immersed in books (Preston 2016).
  • Period: to

    The War

    After graduating high school in 1942, Feyerabend is drafted for the war in Germany. After the war he moved to Weimar to continue his studies (Preston 2016). He later moved back to Vienna and attended the university, studying theoretical physics (Preston 2016).
  • Feyerabend vs. Kuhn

    In 1958, Feyerabend went to work at the University of California in Berkeley (Preston 2000). This is where he met Thomas Kuhn. Given the fact that Feyerabend did not believe in any kind of structure of scientific revolutions, the two were at odds (Preston 2000). He critiqued Kuhn’s work later on implying that “Kuhn [was] glorifying the mind-numbing routine of normal science and the rigid education the Kuhn through produced a good normal scientist” (Godfrey-Smith 2003).
  • Against Method

    Feyerabend is most known for his book, Against Method. Against Method describes Feyerabend’s belief which opposes traditional scientific methodology (Philosophy 2017). He believed that in order for science to progress, it is sometimes necessary to break the rules of science and the scientific method (Philosophy 2017). “For Feyeraband, the best, most productive science is in a permanent state of crisis and revolution, where creativity trumps any established theory or methodology” (Harding 2020).
  • Death

    Feyeraband passed away from an inoperable brain tumor on February 11th, 1994 in Switzerland clinic, overlooking Lake Geneva (Preston 2000).