Killing Time by Paul Feyerabend
The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend

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Synopsis

Killing Time is the story of Paul Feyerabend's life. Finished only weeks before his death in 1994, it is the self-portrait of one of this century's most original and influential intellectuals.

Trained in physics and astronomy, Feyerabend was best known as a philosopher of science. But he emphatically was not a builder of theories or a writer of rules. Rather, his fame was in powerful, plain-spoken critiques of "big" science and "big" philosophy. Feyerabend gave voice to a radically democratic "epistemological anarchism:" he argued forcefully that there is not one way to knowledge, but many principled paths; not one truth or one rationality but different, competing pictures of the workings of the world. "Anything goes," he said about the ways of science in his most famous book, Against Method. And he meant it.

Here, for the first time, Feyerabend traces the trajectory that led him from an isolated, lower-middle-class childhood in Vienna to the height of international academic success. He writes of his experience in the German army on the Russian front, where three bullets left him crippled, impotent, and in lifelong pain. He recalls his promising talent as an operatic tenor (a lifelong passion), his encounters with everyone from Martin Buber to Bertolt Brecht, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and a career so rich he once held tenured positions at four universities at the same time.

Although not written as an intellectual autobiography, Killing Time sketches the people, ideas, and conflicts of sixty years. Feyerabend writes frankly of complicated relationships with his mentor Karl Popper and his friend and frequent opponent Imre Lakatos, and his reactions to a growing reputation as the "worst enemy of science."
 

About Paul Feyerabend

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Paul Feyerabend (1924-94) held numerous teaching posts throughout his career in Europe and the United States. Among his books are Against Method; Science in a Free Society; Farewell to Reason; and Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend, the last published by the University of Chicago Press.
 
Published May 15, 1995 by University Of Chicago Press. 203 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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In his postwar studies, Feyerabend (Science in a Free Society, 1978, etc.) quickly abandoned history in favor of science and philosophy: Soon he was imbibing and disgorging opinions about Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper, Niels Bohr, and others;

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In this memoir, completed shortly before his death, a noted intellectual and contributor to philosophy and the history of science (Farewell to Reason, Science in a Free Society) sketches his youth and the course of his career in infectiously irreverent style.

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