Against Method

Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge


I was in my first year of graduate school when I came across this book. A senior student recommended it to me with the words, ‘go and read Feyerabend. He’s cool.’

‘Cool’. It was a book about scientific philosophy. How cool could scientific philosophy really be? I was intrigued, and in the end the provocative title — containing the words ‘Against Method’ and ‘Anarchistic Theory’ — won me over. I got myself a copy.

In the book, author Paul Feyerabend argues the impossibility of an absolute truth in science and rejects dogmatism. Instead, he makes the assertion that ‘science is, in essence, an agent of anarchy’ and that the only leading principle for science should be: ‘anything goes.’ Okay, this is cool.

I was at a point in studying when I started to feel fatigued by the academic system and the framework of society. It was as if Feyerabend’s provocative words blew away any gloom that had settled in my heart and filled me with new courage.

I am not a scientist, but I think running a business and manufacturing products are nonetheless creative activities. And for true creativity to take place, I try to never forget one important guideline: anything goes.

Acclaimed as a “maverick” and “genius”, philosopher of science Paul K. Feyerabend was a long-time professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. His 1975 book was jointly translated by Yoichiro Murakami and Hiroshi Watanabe and published in Japan in 1981.

(text / Kazuto Yamaki CEO of SIGMA)

Share on social media