The book details, amongst other things, Feyerabend's youth in Nazi -controlled Vienna , his military service, notorious academic career, and his multiple romantic conquests. Feyerabend barely managed to finish writing the book, lying in a hospital bed with an inoperable brain tumor and the left side of his body paralyzed, and he died shortly before it was released. It is one of Feyerabend's best-known works. Feyerabend discloses that he did not keep any careful records of his life and destroyed much of the documentation autobiographers usually preserve, including a family album discarded "to make room for what I then thought were more important books", and correspondences "even from Nobel Prize winners". The book relies on Feyerabends's own memory as well as the various stray sources that he did manage to keep.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Killing Time is the story of Paul Feyerabend's life. Finished only weeks before his death in , it is the self-portrait of one of this century's most original and influential intellectuals.
Trained in physics and astronomy, Feyerabend was best known as a philosopher of science. But he emphatically was not a builder of theories or a writer of rules. Rather, his fame was i Killing Time is the story of Paul Feyerabend's life. Rather, his fame was in powerful, plain-spoken critiques of "big" science and "big" philosophy.
Feyerabend gave voice to a radically democratic "epistemological anarchism:" he argued forcefully that there is not one way to knowledge, but many principled paths; not one truth or one rationality but different, competing pictures of the workings of the world.
And he meant it. Here, for the first time, Feyerabend traces the trajectory that led him from an isolated, lower-middle-class childhood in Vienna to the height of international academic success.
He writes of his experience in the German army on the Russian front, where three bullets left him crippled, impotent, and in lifelong pain. He recalls his promising talent as an operatic tenor a lifelong passion , his encounters with everyone from Martin Buber to Bertolt Brecht, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and a career so rich he once held tenured positions at four universities at the same time. Although not written as an intellectual autobiography, Killing Time sketches the people, ideas, and conflicts of sixty years.
Feyerabend writes frankly of complicated relationships with his mentor Karl Popper and his friend and frequent opponent Imre Lakatos, and his reactions to a growing reputation as the "worst enemy of science. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Killing Time , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
Rating details. Sort order. Jul 09, Manny rated it it was amazing Shelves: older-men-younger-women , science , history-and-biography , too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts , why-not-call-it-poetry , linguistics-and-philosophy , well-i-think-its-funny.
I had been planning to devote this afternoon to catching up on urgent work-related things, but in the event I spent it reading Feyerabend's wonderful autobiography. Looking at my 'read' shelf - who says Goodreads is useless? The same captivating voice, the same lack of respect for stultifying authority, the same ambiguous attitude to conventional notions of "truth" and "reality", the same obstinate refusal to grow up and join the miserable adult world.
If you loved Astrid Lindgren as a child, you should read Killing Time. It's inspiring. Jul 14, notgettingenough rated it really liked it Shelves: sociology , science-sort-of , german. Much has been written about Feyerabend. My two cents' worth. A striking aspect of this book is that philosophers and scientists, even or perhaps specially?
They listened to each other. Am I incorrect to say that now there is a complete schism? It's all very well to blame the philosophers who generally avoid science because it's too hard. But an equally fair generalisation is that scientists now are culturally ignorant. They don't read, they don't go to Much has been written about Feyerabend. They don't read, they don't go to theatre or engage in philosophical argument. They don't even do science. They have tiny fragmented parts to play in something which might or might not have a big picture.
They refuse to be engaged on some other tiny bit even if it sits right next to theirs, or to the small big picture. That, at any rate, is my overall impression and needless to say there are obvious exceptions, at least on the goodreads site.
Clearly if they believe that they can do a good job of being a scientist with nothing even remotely approaching a world view, they are scarcely going to see any advantage in an interdisciplinary education or way of engaging with the world. Feyerabend is enormously well-read and seems to read anything. I suspect if he seems like an odd thinker it is partly because he takes from so many places. Not much, I'd say, from feminism. I note that he mentions many lays in this book, none of them are attributed with a surname.
If it were to protect their anonymity, he could at least have given his wives surnames since they are no chance to remain unknown. View all 3 comments. Feb 01, Philippe rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy , biography. This is a slim volume, barely pages, but it charts an awesome spiritual odyssee. Paul Feyerabend - enfant terrible of late 20th century philosophy - looked ruthlessly in the mirror and painted an unadorned picture of himself. At the end of his life, he painfully recognised that its course had been shaped by absences, rather than by specific events or, for that matter, ideas: absence of purpose, of content, of a focused interest, absence of moral character, absence of warmth and of social rel This is a slim volume, barely pages, but it charts an awesome spiritual odyssee.
At the end of his life, he painfully recognised that its course had been shaped by absences, rather than by specific events or, for that matter, ideas: absence of purpose, of content, of a focused interest, absence of moral character, absence of warmth and of social relationships.
And eventually, a woman came and set things right. In he met the Italian physicist Grazia Borrini for the first time. Five years later they married. His relationship with Mrs. Borrini must have been the single most important event in Feyerabend's life. Reading his autobiography is an experience akin to listening to Sibelius' tone-poem 'Nightride and Sunrise': after the colours change dramatically and his prose is infused with warmth and immense gratefulness.
It is a delight to read his rapt eulogies on the companion of the last decade of his life, on his most fortunate discovery of true love and friendship. Indeed, although Feyerabend is not interested in 'spoiling' his autobiography with an extensive reiteration of his philosophical positions, there are a few messages he clearly wants to drive home.
The central role in life of love and friendship is one of them. Without these "even the noblest achievements and the most fundamental principles remain pale, empty and dangerous" p.
Yet, Feyerabend clearly wants us to see that this love "is a gift, not an achievement" p. It is something which is subjected neither to the intellect, nor to the will, but is the result of a fortunate constellation of circumstances. The same applies to the acquisition of 'moral character'. This too "cannot be created by argument, 'education' or an act of will. Yet, it is only in the context of a moral character - something which Feyerabend confesses to having only acquired a trace of after a long life and the good fortune of having met Grazia - that ethical categories such as guilt, responsibility and obligation acquire a meaning.
Contrary to someone like Karl Kraus, Feyerabend seems to think that men, at least as long as they have not acquired moral character, are morally neutral, whilst ideas are not. A question which remains, of course, is who is to be held responsible for intellectual aberrations and intentional obfuscation if this character is only to be acquired by an act of grace, an accidental constellation of circumstances.
There is an enigmatic passage in the autobiography which may shed light on this important problem. After having seen a performance of Shakespeare's Richard II, in which the protagonist undoes himself of all his royal insigna, thereby relinquishing not just "a social role but his very individuality, those features of his character that separated him from other", Feyerabend notes that the "dark, unwieldy, clumsy, helpless creature that appeared seemed freer and safer, despite prison and death, than what he had left behind.
They may even form a solid platform, thus creating an illusion of universality, security, and permanence. Yet the security and the permanence can be swept away by the powers that permitted them to arise. Jul 13, Jim Coughenour rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoir. My favorite anti-philosopher, the archetypal skeptic of the 20th century. His autobiography is a lark, chock full of intellectual passion and high spirits. Apr 24, Bananya rated it it was amazing. Anything goes in this brilliant autobiography that reads like a novel.
Sep 12, Mike rated it liked it. There are a lot of books with the same title as this, but it's doubtful that many of them are as funny or crazy as this author. Part opera buff, part philosophical buffoon but in the best sense of buffoon: a Diogenes of the 20th Century , Feyerabend is all over the place, not only in his ideas but in his academic career and personal life.
By Mike Holderness. I READ the latter, more philosophical half of this book in front of The Grifters, a movie about con artists who get conned. The man demands a response. And the response he gets from me is as closely related to the plot development of entertainment as it is to formal philosophy.
Driven to abstraction: Killing Time
Not really an autobiography you would expect from a philosopher. This is not a dense academic book but a relaxed and honest confession. Unlike Rousseau though, Feyerabend is funny too. It is difficult A fascinating memoir with an ending that will change many people's opinion about the Peck's bad boy of philosophy.
Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend
Sign in Create an account. Syntax Advanced Search. About us. Editorial team. Paul Feyerabend. University of Chicago Press