Epistemological anarchism is an epistemological theory advanced by Austrian philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend which holds that there are no useful and exception-free methodological rules governing the progress of science or the growth of knowledge. It holds that the idea that science can or should operate according to universal and fixed rules is unrealistic, pernicious, and detrimental to science itself.
The use of the term anarchism in the name reflected the methodological pluralism prescription of the theory; as the purported scientific method does not have a monopoly on truth or useful results, the pragmatic approach is a Dadaistic "anything goes" attitude toward methodologies. The theory advocates treating science as an ideology alongside others such as religion, magic and mythology, and considers the dominance of science in society authoritarian and unjustified. Promulgation of the theory earned Feyerabend the title of “the worst enemy of science” from his detractors.
Famous quotes containing the word anarchism:
“Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through mans subordination. Anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man.”
—Emma Goldman (18691940)