Paul K. Feyerabend




13 January 2024 has marked 100 years from the birth of Paul K. Feyerabend (Pkf), and next to thirty years from his ‘departure from the planet’, as he might have put it.  The entire year thus offers an excellent opportunity to remember and celebrate Paul, both as a human being and for his role as one of the twentieth century’s unique thinkers.

Starting in the Spring of 2020, Paul’s friends, colleagues, students, and publishers, as well as Feyerabend scholars, were invited to get in touch and exchange ideas.  An international centennial committee was thus formed and has been gathering online to plan since October 2020.

Paul Feyerabend lived and taught across three continents, and his work has been published in many languages, with a readership that extends well beyond purely academic circles. With that in mind, a series of small-to-medium-sized events in various locations, before and throughout 2024, seemed most fitting. As of now, the events include symposia, workshops, lectures and discussion panels, but also more unusual initiatives, such as a multi-month film series and discussions inspired by Paul's work, the première of a dedicated musical composition for piano and soprano voice,  and the official dedication of the small 'place with a view', in Switzerland, shown in the photo below.  

You will find a description of all recent and planned events in diverse countries but also of global and online events -- all also noted in a yearly calendar-- on the Events pages on this site.  From there, all released live streaming and recordings will also be made available.  New and recent editions and translations of Pkf's works and collections of papers and critical essays are gathered in the Recent publications section.    

Initially conceived to orient the participants in the centennial celebrations, the website you are visiting grew into much more than a repository of information. As you will see, it now also gathers audiovisuals of Pkf's talks and lectures, including historical recordings nowhere else available and in depth-information about Paul's life and work, produced and released by Dr Matteo Collodel. 

In a dedicated section, a set of memoirs and testimonials offers diverse and illuminating perspectives on Paul as a person.  The memoirs were prepared through time and for diverse occasions by some of Paul's colleagues, students, scholars, and friends.  

A collection of quotes from Paul's work, identified and selected by Tibor Szántó and scholars from various countries, will be 'released' each week of the centennial year from dedicated social media accounts and made available from this web site.  Finally, links are provided to other relevant initiatives, such as the humanitarian foundation inspired by and dedicated to Pkf, and the Pkf Nachlass at the University of Konstanz.  

Why Dürer's rhinoceros for the PKF Centennial logo?

The rhinoceros that appears in the PKF Centennial logo is modelled on a famous woodcut produced in 1515 by the German artist Albrecht Dürer. Dürer’s work was not based on a live animal but on second-hand descriptions and sketches of the first rhinoceros transported alive to Europe. The image is thus a creation between the ‘real’ and the ‘imaginary’, which for many remains more impressive than the ‘real’.  The story is recounted in these fascinating documentaries: part 1, part 2

The PKF Centennial logo has been prepared by Matteo Collodel based on these two (unpublished) quotations from the Feyerabend-Lakatos correspondence:

“Most recent discovery: after a careful study of about 10 books about Rhinoceroses I come to the conclusion that Duerer’s picture is still the best, and better than photographs.” (Feyerabend to Lakatos, Spring 1969)

“Your Polyhedra Postcard gave me an idea: I shall have a postcard made with Rhinoceroses on it, my symbol.” (Feyerabend to Lakatos, Spring 1970)