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Paul Feyerabend
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Philosopher
    (January 13, 1924-February 11, 1994)
    Born in Vienna, Austria
    Professor of Philosophy at University of California, Berkeley (1958-89)
    Philosopher of science
    Wrote 'Against Method' (1975), 'Science in a Free Society' (1978), 'Farewell to Reason' (1987) and 'Three Dialogues on Knowledge' (1991)
    He considered joining the SS in World War II: 'An SS man looked better and spoke better and walked better than ordinary mortals.'
    He married a former student, but they broke up within two years (1956-58).
    He antagonized the administration at UC Berkeley by failing to show up for lectures, not preparing for the lectures he did give, and giving all his students an 'A' regardless of what they did. He speculated that the only reason he was not fired was that it required too much paperwork.
    He was depressed after writing 'Against Method' and said, 'I often wish I had never written that fucking book.'
    He responded to his critics in an essay titled 'Conversations with Illiterates.'
    He argued that creationism and astrology were just as valid as science.
    As a high school student, he built a telescope with his father and became a regular observer for the Swiss Institute of Solar Research, reporting on sunspots.
    While serving on the Eastern Front in WWII, he was shot in the spine, which left him impotent for the rest of his life.
    He pointed out that scientists do not always follow the ideals of the scientific method in making their discoveries.
    He wrote, 'All religion may be centered around a generally good idea; however, this has not stopped its adherents from acting like bastards.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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