The Feyerabend Project

by Simon St. Laurent

Related link:

Paul Feyerabend's philosophical and scientific legacy of semantic instability seems to be inspiring new work in computing, a deliberate effort to "repair the arena of software development and practice."

Looking for change isn't always the best way to find it, perhaps, but it's encouraging to see people challenge the fundamentals. Computing seems to be filled with people who know their way is the best way, and perhaps it's a good time to consider other ways.

Does computing need frequent rethinking?


2003-01-29 00:31:18
Change is underway
Perhaps the Feyerabend Project has missed the transformations that have taken place in software development. Recently we have witnessed Extreme Programming, design patterns, software refactoring and Agile Software Development emerge.

My guess is that Paul Feyerabend would have jumped for joy at the shift of values from process to people and their particular needs. In his essay 'Against Method', Feyerabend - physicist cum philosopher of science - argues that "[g]iven any rule, however ‘fundamental’ or ‘necessary’ for science, there are always circumstances when it is advisable not only to ignore the rule, but to adopt its opposite".

In this new era of software development, there is not one rule or methodology but many. What happens now will be interesting. Are practitioners ready to be flexible and radically alter their way of working according to context. Or will we stubbornly adhere to our favourite practices.