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Killing Time


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In this memoir, completed shortly before his death, a noted intellectual and contributor to philosophy and the history of science (Farewell to Reason, Science in a Free Society) sketches his youth and the course of his career in infectiously irreverent style. Feyerabend (1924-1994), from a childhood in working-class Vienna, survived crippling wounds on the Eastern front in WWII and moved on to achieve professorships, often concurrent, at UC Berkeley and other major American and European universities. A proponent of unfettered thought and inquiry, he presents his story in a diffusely focused, associative manner. The vignettes of his early years lack clarity, yet furnish meaningful background to absorbing glimpses of the development of his professional life in subsequent chapters. Emphasis is on subjective impressions rather than on a recapitulation of his academic tenets. This book has intrinsic interest as a self-portrayal of a brilliant individual and will most likely appeal to those also interested in his works. Photos not seen by PW. (May)

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