PN: How would you describe the relevance of Feyerabend’s thinking today and his legacy for the future?
GM: The big philosophical problem about science was that the scientific method worked but we could not prove so: classical skepticism, Popper’s efforts notwithstanding. Feyerabend came in and cleaned house: the so-called “scientific method” did not work; it actually got in the way of scientific progress (as defined by the empiricists themselves). I think this is a finding of the greatest importance, although not his only contribution. Philosophy cannot â€“ should not â€“ be the same after that, even though professional philosophers will keep on doing pretty much the same things for as long as they can get away with it. I am reminded of Romero’s film “The Dawn of the Dead”, in which the zombies go to the shopping mall to walk around and window-shop as they used to do when they were alive. Analytic philosophy no longer makes sense, in great part thanks to Feyerabend, but there you have it: a philosophy for zombies. But the zombies are still in charge, so who knows how Feyerabend’s legacy will play in the years to come.
Based on Gonzalo’s recommendation, I have ordered a copy of Feyerabend’s posthumous book, The Conquest of Abundance.
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