Friday Fun Poll: Feyerabend

I haven’t read as much of Paul Feyerabend‘s work as I’d like to, but this quote from his correspondence with Imre Lakatos is one of my favorites:

The only theoretical restriction (or “definition”) of science which I am prepared to tolerate is what follows from a principle of general hedonism: all those elements of science which are inconsistent with hedonism must go (which, of course, does not mean that people will be forbidden to be masochistic; only that they should exercise their masochism privately and not advertise it as a principle of truth, or of professional integrity, thus misleading themselves and everyone else; they can even be sadists; but again they should choose their friends not by misleading propaganda — “you are now going to do the most important thing that man has invented,” but honestly (not in the “professional” sense): “I am a sadist; you are a masochist; so let us have some fun together”).

I’ve had it up on my Facebook profile for a while, and Female Science Professor’s post about personal boundaries and social networking sites got me thinking…

Why will this damage my career?

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  1. Mary wrote:

    I took a class with him at Cal. He was almost impossible to understand, strong accent at the end of a long, narrow, sloping lecture hall. I’d go to class, listen as best I could, and do other work. All I can remember, really, was that the class was “theories of knowledge,” and that I got an A- on a ten-page paper that I yanked out of my ass the day/night before.

    Can masochism and hedonism co-exist? I think so.

  2. Kerrick wrote:

    Masochism is clearly a form of hedonism. Hedone is pleasure; masochism (from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch) is pursuit of pleasure in one’s own pain. Except for this very common misunderstanding, and the relatively common bad sentence structure, I think this quote is right. fucking. on.

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