Re: feyerabend who?

Gerrit Hanenburg (
Sat, 22 Jul 1995 15:28:13 GMT

Alex Duncan <> wrote:

>Back to Feyerabend -- I think the idealistic model of how science is
>SUPPOSED to work is something we all get over after a few years in the
>field. Based on your quick synopsis (thank you), it sounds to me like
>Feyerabend has conflated hypothesis generation with hypothesis testing.
>Is my impression accurate?

Yes,If people agree on the method, but somebody else (especially in another
cultural context) may not at all agree with you on what constitutes a test or
a "genuine" hypothesis or such a person may be part of a tradition in which
things are not tested but believed on authority.(the gods or whatever).What
seems to be in your eyes a reasonable test may not be so in the eyes of the
medicineman of a Yanomamo tribe in the Amazon basin (he might even consider
it immoral to investigate certain things in such a way).Yet these people are
not backwards,they manage to survive in an environment in which people like
you and me can hardly survive.They use a different kind of rationality,yet
they may come to moreless the same results as we do (their blowpipes and
poison arrows are as effective as our guns).This may seem an extreme example
but it illustrates well what you might encounter.
Why can't you convince creationists that man has evolved?The arguments in
favor of that theory seem quite clear.(to us)


"All testing,all confirmation and disconfirmation of a hypothesis takes
place already within a system."
"The system is not so much the point of departure,as the element in which
arguments have their life."
"Knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement."
L.Wittgenstein. "On Certainty".