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Introducing The Dialogue Partners: Torrance And Feyerabend

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Chapter Summary

One of Paul Feyerabend's most forceful challenges to natural science's own narrative, is that personal factors are just as decisive as impersonal ones in the development of a body of theory. Thomas Forsyth Torrance, although born in China where his parents were missionaries, was by upbringing a Scottish Calvinist. Paul Feyerabend's life is colourfully and wittily narrated in his autobiography Killing Time. He was born in Vienna, and after being seriously wounded in the war, studied in turn music, history, sociology, physics and philosophy. As Feyerabend developed his infamous later anarchic philosophy, that anarchic caste of mind began to make itself manifest in his professional and personal life. The backdrop to Feyerabend's latter work, personally and culturally, is the logical positivism and Popperianism of his earlier work, a backdrop shared with Torrance, and the work of both can be viewed as a reaction to the excesses of the former.

Keywords: Paul Feyerabend; Popperianism; positivism; Thomas Forsyth Torrance



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