On the Improvement of the Sciences and the Arts, and the Possible Identity of the Two

  • Paul K. Feyerabend
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 3)


Specialization has always been a more or less pronounced feature of highly developed cultures. But while a specialist of earlier times was aware of the need to relate his results to more general principles, and while he was prepared to consider a criticism that would question the value of his enterprise as whole, the fact of specialization is now accentuated by the added demand for autonomy. Not only do we have many different fields; but these fields are anxious to protect their boundaries and they object to any outside interference. You all know how persistently scientists refuse to submit themselves to a metaphysical criticism, how eloquently artists demand to be given full freedom of self-expression, no matter what the results of such self-expression, or whether they are useful to anyone; and you may also have heard how carefully some modern theologicans try to redefine religion in order to avoid a clash with well-established results in other domains. Of course, not everyone persists on autonomy. But we are dealing here with tendencies, which in the last two or three centuries have become stronger and stronger and which decisively contribute to the shape of the institutions supporting the continued existence of our culture. Nor can it be overlooked that there exist today attempts to bridge the gulf that separates for example the sciences and the arts.


Type Species Type Specimen Antarctic Region Primary Tract Original Designation 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company / Dordrecht-Holland 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul K. Feyerabend
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of LondonUK
  2. 2.University of California (Berkeley)USA

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