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In his article, “How to Defend Society Against Science,” Paul Feyerabend divulges into the concept that science is just another ideology and should be treated as such. He argues that the scientific method is not special or rational, and therefore should not have the exalted…
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Article Summary In his article, “How to Defend Society Against Science,” Paul Feyerabend divulges into the concept that science is just another ideology and should be treated as such. He argues that the scientific method is not special or rational, and therefore should not have the exalted status that it currently holds in society. Feyerabend also believes that science has become a threat to society due to what he claims to be just another obsession with another ideology. Feyerabend looks to concepts of religion to support his argument of why science should not be receiving the attention that it has been.
Feyerabend makes the claim that, unlike religion, science does not leave room for people to think freely. People have become so dependent on science that once something has been scientifically proven, it becomes law. Feyerabend says that it is this that has made science an anti-liberating ideology; people have regarded science as the superior mode of thought, refusing to let themselves think past anything that science has staked a claim. The counterargument in this regard is that science works and is a success. However, this is all the more reason to approach science with skepticism.
Feyerabend does not consider results or success as much as he considers the method, which is always scientific; otherwise, the results are questionable. In regard to religion, Christians can question their beliefs against Buddhists and Jews. For each person, there will be a new side to an argument or theory. Science, on the other hand, does not allow this as an option. Once something has been proven scientifically, people let it go. They have no one else to glean an understanding from. Where there is an absence of contrary opinions, science is turned from an ideology into a dogma, providing a cut-off point for people to continue to think.
People react to science much as they did when religions began to rise and spread. There was curiosity, skepticism, and a plethora of questions. Even after the rush of religion died down, all of this remained. When science first reared its head, it received a similar reaction. Everyone was curious and scientists set out to answer questions and find solutions. After they answered what they needed to, there was nothing more to do. People found it useless to continue to think on something that had already been answered. All the same, science is looked to as one of the greatest ideologies, and as the final voice on the thinking process, which is why Feyerabend believes that the hype surrounding science should not be as great as it is. Read More
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