Science Does Not Know Best Essay

2144 words - 9 pages

I will be defending Paul Feyerabend in this paper. I will argue that Peter Godfrey-Smith does not represent Feyerabend charitably or accurately. Godfrey-Smith believes that Feyerabend’s deep conviction was that “science is an aspect of human creativity.” That is partially correct, but Feyerabend was much more concerned with human well-being¬ and against domination and dogmatism. He was also concerned with Western Scientific Imperialism.
I will be referencing a number of articles in this paper. How to Defend Society Against Science, Against Method, Theory and Reality, and On Liberty (to a lesser extent), will be my main background materials. Some mention of Lakatos and Kuhn will also be present. I would like to introduce a bit of each of these, before diving into Feyerabend arguments, because I think they provide an important framework for understanding Feyerabend.
Feyerabend was writing as a contemporary of Kuhn. Kuhn used a historical perspective to evaluate scientific progress, and came to the conclusion that science goes through “normal” periods and “revolutions.” “Paradigm shifts” are what happens during the culmination of a scientific revolution, and these shifts are inevitable. Kuhn is stating that there cannot be one scientific method to be held above others, due to the fact that there is incommensurability between paradigms. Many critics took this as an implication that science is not rational. Kuhn denied this, but Feyerabend went full-tilt with it.
In How to Defend Society Against Science, Feyerabend states that we should not think of science as special, and that it does not deserve the status that it currently enjoys. Science often hurts society, and we ought to be cautious when we engage in it. The most cautious we can be is to be open to everything. “Anything Goes.” This seems ridiculous at first glance, but I believe that Feyerabend was on to something.
Godfrey-Smith acknowledges that Feyerabend is difficult to parse. Feyerabend himself says that he ought not to be taken seriously at all times. This is in line with his belief that no one ought to take themselves too seriously (scientists included). One must also remember that Against Method was originally designed to be part of a larger book, but Feyerabend’s friend, Lakatos, died before he could write the other half. This half was to be “For Method” and included Lakatos’ research programmes. This is important because Feyerabend was a big fan of rhetoric and playfulness. It is likely safe to assume that some of Feyerabend’s claims were intentionally inflated so as to allow an interesting “back and forth” between the two.
I would like to preemptively deflect any criticism of Feyerabend as a man who was either “some postmodernist” that is against science, or that he did not know what he was talking about when it came to science. Feyerabend was initially interested in Quantum Mechanics, and even wrote articles on it dating back to 1954. His dislike for method came later.
Lastly, in...

Find Another Essay On Science Does Not Know Best

Science and Art as One Essay

885 words - 4 pages not understood well. In many of the science books used in school all around the world, there are pictures that are used to help demonstrate or clarify an idea. Everything that scientists study should be considered art. Many people would look at a picture of an atom or a DNA molecule and believe that it is a great form of art, especially if they have never seen them before. This may not show that science is art, but it does show that art is a

The gravity of science in life - ENG 209 - Essay

1206 words - 5 pages there may so many unsolved problems, the resolution will ultimately be discovered with the help of science. “Science is the light that keeps us out of the dark ages”. It may not tend to solve each of our dilemmas but it does give us a head start to their solutions. And then the more we find, hence the more queries we make. It’s becomes a never ending hunt for answers that endure until the existence of humans cease to exist. Science plays an

Science and Relgion in the Screwtape Letters - English - Essay

783 words - 4 pages Science and religion are both beautiful things; but when put together they can at times lead to conflict. The problem that arises between these two subjects is what they are about. Science is factual and religion is spiritual. So when you put these two totally different subjects together on certain topics what you find is a clashing between the two. But though they may fight at times this does not mean the religion and science cannot work hand

science- curse or bane

600 words - 2 pages : (1) Observation (2) Hypothesis (3) Experiment (4) Theory and (5) Proof. All scientists have, in a way, followed these steps.The aim of science is search for truth, and to know things, hitherto unknown. A scientist does not accept ideas, simply because, they were accepted by others earlier. Great discoveries are a result of reasoning. A lot of patience and observation are required. Civilization, as it is today, is the result of a number of

The Pros and Cons of Science

1797 words - 7 pages Why am I so afraid of science? After all, was it not because of science that advancements in technology were made? Did it not create immunizations for once lethal diseases such as measles and polio? Although science does benefit our lives, it also provides detrimental and destructive results. The automobile was a break through invention, yet, it is also one of the main producers of pollution. Was it not a result of science that the atomic bomb

Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India

3403 words - 14 pages evidence made available by the methods of modern science' (p. 127). And this is particularly the case over issues of truth that are downplayed by the Strong Programme. In response it is not enough to quip that any member of a non-Western culture who does look to reasoned modification of belief will have jumped out of their locally accepted traditions of belief and evidence-giving and simply adopted those of another tradition. Nanda develops the case

Science VS Religion

2196 words - 9 pages religion. Religion do not contradict science, superstition does. "Many superstitions have come into existence and then faded away. Faith has not, which suggests it has reality" ("Awake" 6).No evidence in the Bible, Koran, and the teaching of Buddhism or any other major religion was found which implies, suggests or simply says that science is bad, evil and wrong, so that we should keep ourselves far away from science, so that we should object, hate, and

Epistemology - Are science and religion in conflict?

1949 words - 8 pages the subject, the definitions of both science and religion, basic arguments of both sides, scientific evolution, differing religions and religious views, the compatible versus incompatible argument, how religion has influenced science and views from the modern day scientist. My views on scientific and religious conflict are that science is the best way to validate religion. I am a very religious person and am not swayed from my faith due to some

A definition of what Science Fiction is in the 20th Century,

1180 words - 5 pages the technological precautions taken beforehand. The reader surely can not help but compare the world of the story to that of their own. 'Not only is science fiction an idea of tremendous import, but it is to be an important factor in making the world a better place to live in, through educating the public to the possibilities of science and the influence of science on life' (James 8). Science fiction in this sense does much more than simply relay a

Microtheme 10

855 words - 4 pages always in the best interest of the people, environment, and our planet? Unfortunately, the quest to “know” seems to completely disregard the consequences. Albert Einstein admits his reasons for pursuing the atomic bomb was his fear of Germany getting it first. He claims he would not have done so without that fear, but would that have mattered to others? Science will proceed without any regard for consequences if it is being developed to

Science and Technology’s Complex Roles in Traditional Societies

520 words - 3 pages education and culture between scientists and non-scientists. The degradation of traditional societies became more evident after 1950. A connection between science and technology formed. However, this connection is murky at best. Sometimes they are connected and sometimes they are not. One thing is certain. Society is starting to lean more towards technology to solve all of its problems. Societies pay science to solve problems that technology cannot fix

Similar Essays

Does Homer Know Best? Essay

1985 words - 8 pages Father does not know best and that it is definitely more dangerous to leave it to Bart than to leave it to Beaver. “Does Father Still Know Best?” was written by Timothy Allen Pehlke, Charles B. Hennon, M. Elise Radina, and Katherine A. Kuvalanka wrote an Inductive Thematic Analysis of Popular TV Sticoms,”. Allen received an M.S. in Family and Child Studies from Miami University and an M.P.A. from the University of Missouri. He currently works in

Does The Fact That We Might Be Deceived By An Evil Demon Mean That We Actually Do Not Know Anything?

1856 words - 7 pages even if all three conditions are met, it can still be the case that S does not actually know that p. The reason for this lies in the third condition, as it is difficult to define 'to be justified in believing that p'. S, for instance, sees T buying a precious painting and therefore believes that T is collecting art which, in fact, happens to be the case. However, at this particular occasion T only buys the painting on behalf of somebody else and

Thoreau's Theory That It Is Best To Hire One Who Loves The Job Opposed To One Who Does Not

552 words - 2 pages job is not only to earn money and provide for yourself and family; it is to do your part in society. A septic tank cleaner probably does not enjoy or want to clean septic tanks. Offer him a good paycheck, and he may change his mind. Work is not about enjoying your job. It is about getting the job done and receiving the benefits from it. A happy and content family should mean more to you than whether you enjoy your job or not, and when you have

What Is Science Essay

846 words - 3 pages definition of Science that most of us know is that Science is a 'systematic process' wherein it builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions, systematic in a way that it involves the definition of a problem, the searching of alternative solutions in general through models, and the selection of the best alternative that will eventually decide the course of action. The systematic process in decision making in