Feyerabend on Science and Education


  • Ian James Kidd

Correspondence: Ian James Kidd, Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 50 Old Elvet, Durham, County Durham, DH1 3HN, UK.

Email: i.j.kidd@durham.ac.uk


This article offers a sympathetic interpretation of Paul Feyerabend's remarks on science and education. I present a formative episode in the development of his educational ideas—the ‘Berkeley experience'—and describe how it affected his views on the place of science within modern education. It emerges that Feyerabend arrived at a conception of education closely related to that of Michael Oakeshott and Martin Heidegger—that of education as ‘releasement’. Each of those three figures argued that the purpose of education was not to induct students into prevailing norms and convictions, but rather to initiate them into the ‘civilized inheritance of mankind’. I conclude that interpreting Feyerabend's educational ideas within this conception of education as releasement lends a new coherence to his remarks on science and education, in a way that renders certain of his political proposals—such as the ‘separation of science and the state'—both more coherent and more compelling.