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Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend
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Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  153 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Killing Time is the story of Paul Feyerabend's life. Finished only weeks before his death in 1994, 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
Paperback, 203 pages
Published November 15th 1996 by University Of Chicago Press (first published May 15th 1995)
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Feb 01, 2011 Philippe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, biography
This is a slim volume, barely 200 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 ...more
Jan 01, 2008 Joshu rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in philosophy and science
feyerabend was an iconoclastic philosopher and this memoir really cuts to the heart of a lot of interesting philosophical conundrums via the story of his life.
Sep 12, 2011 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. I first read this about 15 years ago for a school project and stumbled across it this past week at the Strand. Thumbing through it, I forgot how funny Feyerab ...more
Mar 23, 2014 mpacer rated it it was amazing
I wouldn't care about his book if I hadn't already really liked Feyerabend's work more generally (and even more so his influence on others, notably Ian Hacking). However, having now read it, I am very happy I did so. I still would have difficulty recommending it without knowing that someone was already interested in Feyerabend, simply because I think it's diffuse enough in its points and sloppy enough in its editing (characters are often mentioned without having yet being introduced… this is esp ...more
Jim Coughenour
Jul 13, 2007 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 27, 2013 Ananya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
Anything goes in this brilliant autobiography that reads like a novel.
Otto Lehto
Nov 21, 2012 Otto Lehto rated it liked it
A charmingly anecdotal, if somewhat scattered, autobiography of the great philosopher of science whose name has become synonymous with a dangerous anarchic attack on objective standards. (Just the kind I like.)

The best parts are the stories of Second World War, and reflections on his career after writing "Against Method."

The book ends with the author's death, which might explain some of the lack of "finesse" in its structure; the book would have benefited from re-editing and re-writing had the
Mar 04, 2015 Raisi rated it it was amazing
Lo leí en español.
Me encanta la filosofía de Feyerabend, me parece una persona excéntrica, apasionada y sin pelos en la lengua.
No pude no llorar con el final.
Dec 30, 2014 P rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After being promised some sort of narrative detailing the change “from a debating machine into the semblance of a human being,” what’s given instead is a biography strangely in the manner of the early Wittgenstein: a presentation of facts with little in the way of reflection or even emotional context. Feyerabend’s philosophical work is of the most important of the twentieth century, but apart from anecdotes about breaking from the Popper cult and the reception of Against Method, there’s little h ...more
Feb 16, 2015 Maiken rated it did not like it
Killing me... I was really surprised by the lack of in-depth reflection by Feyerabend on his life. Too much information that I did not know what to think about, because it was just facts without perspective. Perhaps reflecting deeply on personal matters just wasnt his strength - on the contrary, impersonally and philosophically he did quite well. Disappointing read, I was bored. ...more
Steve Curati
Mar 10, 2012 Steve Curati rated it it was amazing
I'm not a fan of autobiographies usually, but this is one of the most charming, brilliant books I've read.
Bastian Greshake
May 29, 2015 Bastian Greshake rated it it was amazing
The more I read by/about Feyerabend, the larger my crush grows…
Victor Zatsepin
Oct 25, 2011 Victor Zatsepin rated it it was amazing
magical stuff!
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Paul Karl Feyerabend was an Austrian-born philosopher of science best known for his work as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked for three decades (1958–1989).

His life was a peripatetic one, as he lived at various times in England, the United States, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, and finally Switzerland. His major works include Against Method (publis
More about Paul Karl Feyerabend...

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“Somewhere among the commotion I grew rather depressed. The depression stayed with me for over a year; it was like an animal, a well-defined, spatially localizable thing. I would wake up, open my eyes, listen-is it here or isn’t it? No sign of it. Perhaps it’s asleep. Perhaps it will leave me alone today. Carefully, very carefully, I get out of bed. All is quiet. I go to the kitchen, start breakfast. Not a sound. TV-Good Morning America, David what’s-his-name, a guy I can’t stand. I eat and watch the guests. Slowly the food fills my stomach and gives me strength. Now a quick excursion to the bathroom, and out for my morning walk-and here she is, my faithful depression: “Did you think you could leave without me?" I had often warned my students not to identify with their work. I told them, “if you want to achieve something, if you want to write a book, paint a picture, be sure that the center of your existence if somewhere else and that it’s solidly grounded; only then will you be able to keep your cool and laugh at the attacks that are bound to come." I myself had followed this advice in the past, but now I was alone, sick with some unknown affliction; my private life was in a mess, and I was without a defense. I often wished I had never written that fucking book.” 8 likes
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