The Relation between (Social)[1] Science and Individual Liberty on the Perspective of Anything goes[2]

July 24, 2008

Qusthan Abqary

Feyerabend is well-known as one controversial philosopher because he campaigns for methodological anarchism and anything goes. Anything goes inherently stands in methodological anarchism which is, according to Feyerabend, the remedy for science in two conditions that are similar with fascist or chauvinistic. Anything goes cannot be considered as positive methodology because it is primarily to criticize standards and involves unspecified and unspecifiable practice. (Social) science’s differentiation, etymology and terminology, has influenced scientists’ and researchers’ interpretations on science. It will be better if the interpretations are directed to the (social) science as double faces entity that emphasizes process that always adheres on development of (social) science in the movement of history than as eminent product. Freedom has elusive character trait. However, it is often characterized positively and negatively. These characters influence anything goes that has external and internal side. Anything goes‘ external relates to the meaning of positive freedom while the internal relates to the meaning of negative freedom. Therefore, in the perspective of anything goes, (social) science is able to enhance individual liberty but they remain in a unique situation considering the meaning of (social) science whose double faces are elusive character trait of individual liberty which is divided as positive and negative.

Keywords: anything goes, science, individual liberty.

Ian Shapiro, one of political philosopher, said that “all repellents of enlightenment do not believe that progress which bases on science will create a better live and individual liberty”. Subsequently he criticized that “almost all anti-enlightenment critics on science are more reasonable as critics on early version of enlightenment than to mature enlightenment”[3].

Indonesia experienced it. In New Order Regime, individual liberty-especially scientists, intellectuals, and researchers-was forbade to develop (social) science in order to preserve stabilities on unity and unification, economic, politic, and security. Concerning these issues, Dhakidae campaigned for “liberation as solution, if not, the crisis of (social) science in New Order regime won’t be resolved”[4]. Thereby, the stress between individual liberty and (social) science becomes important to be researched. The focus of this research concerns on Feyerabend’s idea about anything goes as a method to develop (social) science. Anything goes gives unique characteristic to philosophy of (social) science and it derives many responses, while the major response does not impinge relationship between individual liberty and (social) science. In other words, the material object of this research is relationship between individual liberty and (social) science while the formal object is anything goes.

Logical Structure of Anything goes

Feyerabend’s idea of anything goes has been a controversial issue in philosophy of (social) science since twentieth century. Some popular statements of Feyerabend which justify anything goes are: (1) “My intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits[5]; and (2) “All methodologies have their limitations and the only ‘rule’ that survives is ‘anything goes‘”[6]. Feyerabend did not explore much on anything goes in Against Method (AM). He wrote anything goes less than seven times in AM while AM focused on Feyerabend campaign against cliché which was considered as method.

Feyerabend also stated that “The only principle that does not inhibit progress is: anything goes[7]; and then “it will become clear that there is only one principle that can be defended under all circumstances and in all stages of human development. It is the principle: anything goes[8]. This principle indeed is not a self-stand entity, because its existence is pertinent with epistemological anarchism. Feyerabend took sides on epistemological anarchism with purposes. Feyerabend wrote, “My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits”[9]. For him, “an anarchist is like an undercover agent who plays the game of Reason in order to undercut the authority of Reason (Truth, Honesty, Justice, and so on)”[10]. In other words, Feyerabend believed it was not only reason that determined everything, including effort on developing (social) science.

Van Peursen argued that Feyerabend adjured to give chance for all alternative modes to develop (social) science[11]. But Van Peursen had exaggerated interpretation that magic also should get chance to develop (social) science whereas Feyerabend only conceded that myth had a closer distance with (social) science on the philosophical discussion and they have astonishing similarities[12]. We know that magic is, in Feyerabendian sense, one type of epistêmê which should be equal with other types of epistêmê, unexceptionally with (social) science. In contrast, Feyerabend considered that myth’s achievements was more imposing than (social) science because myth was started by culture while (social) science changed it that even sometimes was not better than before[13].

Feyerabend defined myth as something which is: (1) “a complex explanatory system that contains numerous auxiliary hypotheses designed to cover special cases, so it easily achieves a high degree of confirmation on the basis of observation”; (2) “the myth is, therefore, of no objective relevance; it continues to exist solely as the result of the effort of the community of believers and of their leaders, be these now priests or Nobel prize winners”[14]. If Feyerabend only considered myth had convenient distance with (social) science, so magic had aloof distance with (social) science’s co-domain. Magic, using Anselmus’ ontological phrase, needs and bases on credo ut intelligam while (social) science does not need them as the basis but as the verification. In other words, (social) science and magic basically have different nature.

Feyerabend claimed there was no different rationalization between himself and Lakatos, especially their analysis of reason (theory of rationalization[15]) and standards of observation. According to Feyerabend, Lakatos presumed that reason indirectly constituted the (social) scientists to act on scientific activities or practices. Feyerabend believed that Lakatos acceded with him that observation did not have heuristic power. Reason indeed, similar with Lakatos’s denifition, does not constitute (social) scientists’ activities directly. Therefore, Feyerabend presumed that anything goes was to develop (social) science in such specific conditions.

Feyerabend also gave clarification that the slogan of anything goes (and proliferation) did not signify the changing of inductivism, falsificationism, neither research-programmism[16]. He developed anything goes to reach mature condition in Science in a Free Society (SAFS). He built anything goes through some inseparable arguments. Initially, Feyerabend criticized standard of research by violating the standard itself. Feyerabend believed that researchers could only participate on unspecified and unspecifiable practices when they evaluated the research[17]. Feyerabend claimed that the result would become: “interesting research in the sciences (and, for that matter, in any field) often leads to an unpredictable revision of standard though this may not be the intention”[18]. Nevertheless, Feyerabend emphasized that anything goes was not the only new methodology which had been recommended by any scientists. Anything goes is only an effort to be committed to universal standards of (social) science and it is to understand the history of (social) science. The following is an illustration about anything goes:

I use Lakatos’ research programme for the analogy because of some reasons. First, anything goes is not a method in the positivistic sense but as Feyerabend’s special method to develop (social) science in specific conditions. It is convenient with Lakatos’ expectation on research programme which can not be used in all conditions of (social) science but more specific as particular research programme[19].

Second, positive heuristic on Lakatos’ research programme consists of signs of changes, modifications, and sophistication of protective circles. All of these entities are appropriate with Feyerabend’s four premises of anything goes. The three premises always strive to protect the core, but they cannot be changed like Lakatos’ core of research programme. I believe that anything goes will inevitably perish if and only if the conditions of fascism of science are lost.

Third, Lakatos believed that positive heuristic of research programme could prevent scientists from flattered which had been initiated by ocean of anomalies of (social) science[20]. In the fascism of science, the level of anomaly can increase like what has been occurred in the development of economic mainstream in Indonesia. In this case, there is an anomaly strike which is unrelated to theories of economic mainstream with number of poverty either welfare[21].

I recognize that combining Lakatos’ research programme and Feyerabend’s anything goes possess some difficulties. First, Lakatos did not justify how to use his research programme on social sciences while Feyerabend claimed that anything goes could be applied for every (social) science in specific conditions. Hence, this analogy should be arranged only to illustrate anything goes. Second, Lakatos’ research programme has an end to demarcation between mature and immature science[22] while anything goes‘ is aimed to identify how to unravel the bottleneck of developing (social) science. Third, Lakatos’ research programme supposes to be a long term improvement of positive heuristic while anything goes uses short term improvement of positive heuristic because it is the research that violates the standards.

The first premise of anything goes becomes positive heuristic and the main supposition that support anything goes as the core. Feyerabend considered the significance of criticizing the standards because “The standards we use and the rules we recommend make sense only in a world that has a certain structure”[23] while Feyerabend believed this world did not have certain structures. Human could only get the image of the world in their own perspectives while these individual perspectives (image) could be different to each other. Feyerabend wrote, “The idea of a finite world becomes acceptable when we have theories describing such a world and when these theories turn out to be better than their infinitist rivals”[24]. Feyerabend defined standards as “…intellectual measuring instruments often have to be invented, …”[25]; and “Standards are intellectual measuring instruments; they give us readings not of temperature, or of weight, but of the properties of complex sections of the historical process”[26]. Feyerabend’s explanation about the criteria of standards is shown below:

“We cannot specify standards before we know the subject matter the standards are supposed to judge. Standards are not eternal arbiters of research, morality, beauty preserved and presented by an assembly of high priests that is protected from the irrationality of the common rabble in science, the arts, in society; they are instruments provided for certain purposes by those who are familiar with the circumstances and who have examined them in detail”[27].

Researchers, according to Feyerabend, who evaluated research that violated the standards, might participate only in unspecified and unspecifiable practice because it related to interaction among traditions that adopted pragmatic philosophy[28] when they evaluated structures and events that arose[29]. Traditions refer to art, religion, mystic, magic, and etc.

Second premise also refers to positive heuristic. Unfortunately Feyerabend never explained about unspecified and unspecifiable practice, but Dewey explained the opposite. Dewey wrote, “We are, socially, in a condition of division and confusion because our best authenticated knowledge is obtained by directed practice, while this method is still limited to things aloof from man or concerning him only in the technologies of industries”[30]. Hence, the practice is suitable with social confusion caused by directed or specified and specifiable practice which has been designed to produce authenticated knowledge. I assume that social confusion is caused by the different and unique human experiences which relatively could influence each researchers’ perception about the totality of knowledge. Conversely, researchers’ knowledge factually must not be generated through directed or specified and specifiable practice.

Dewey and Feyerabend implicitly concede that there are structures and suprastructures which determine the process (method) of research. Those structures and suprastructures could be (1) scientific communities who have authority to decide who can be a scientific; (2) irremovable presumptions about the object of research which is embedded in each researchers’ mind; or (3) the cliché that is scientific knowledge must consists of empirical authentication about the hypothesis on each research (logico-hypothetico-verificative or deducto-hypothetico-verificative[31]).

The first form, scientific communities inherently remain in the structure which will reject all efforts to do research which violates the standards. Unspecified and unspecifiable practice is impossible to get adequate position in the scientific communities, because there is a strong connection between speficified practices and the communities: scientific communities’ authority needs the existence of specified practices and its standards, otherwise specified practices and its standards only exist in scientific communities.

Secondly, presumptions in researchers’ mind indirectly become suprastructure that influence the research. Expectation on (social) science without the (social) scientists cannot be realized because there are many traditions or ideologies that exist, such as arts, religions, and mystic, even magic. Those traditions or ideologies exist outside the scientific communities and scientists may not impose what they have to the overall society. Even in Eastern society, there are many scientists who still believe in religions and mystic that can influence the progress of (social) science.

Third, the cliché that is a scientific knowledge which only derives from empirical verification of hypothesis becomes the structure and the suprastructure. If the cliché has been institutionalized in scientific communities, it will become the structure; while if the cliché has stayed in the researchers’ mind, it will become the suprastructure. Both conditions of cliché are very potential to drive (social) science to fascistic condition. Besides, Suriasumantri believed that scientists’ scepticism only could be eliminated through logico-hypothetico-verificative[32] whereas the process was part and parcel with specified practice and the standards which were used in scientific communities. Therefore, the results should be proportionally on appropriate sphere in the framework of (social) science and scientific communities. I think that it will be better if scientist skepticism should be restrictive to the scientific activities or researches and does not extend to the inter-personal relation with non-scientists in society.

The third premise that emphasizes interesting research does not equal with unpredictable revision of the standards. The revision only becomes inherent part of the interesting research. It appropriates with Feyerabend’s supposition that unpredictable revision only became the majority inclination of the interesting research, which was criticizing the standards[33].

The fourth premise that also becomes the negative heuristic has never been explained by Feyerabend, even the standard of that phase. I suppose that standards refers to the unpredictable revision of third premise because anything goes is one character of research violating the standards and inherently transpire in unspecified and unspecifiable practice like the fourth premise, “…the only thing we can say about such research is therefore: anything goes“.

In another part of SAFS, Feyerabend precisely denied anything goes as his conviction, but more as “jocular summary of the predicament of the rationalist”[34]. Nevertheless, Feyerabend perforce to give anything goes as such principle for the scientists who “cannot live without principles that hold independently of situation, shape of world, exigencies of research, temperamental peculiarities, …”[35], while he conceded that anything goes was empty, useless, and ridiculous. I suppose that Feyerabend’s creed about anything goes should be accepted as long as it becomes the character of inter-relationship of knowledge’s traditions or development of (social) science if and only if (social) science becomes fascistic or chauvinistic.

Subsequently, there are some problems that arise: (1) is every scientists going to use pragmatic philosophy when they interact with all scientific activities?; (2) Even though one scientist uses pragmatic philosophy, doesn’t it only available in urgent condition?; Feyerabend wrote, “We have seen that individuals or groups participating in the interaction of traditions may[36] adopt a pragmatic philosophy when judging the events and structures that arise”[37]. According to that statement, (3) doesn’t ‘may’ different with ‘always’? Yes, it does. It means that Feyerabend believes that pragmatic philosophy does not always be the only choice for every scientists and he still gives chances for other philosophical principles to appear so it can be used by other scientists.

Russel placed anything goes as the key word of Feyerabend’s philosophy in science[38]. According to Russel, Feyerabend used the expression of anything goes referred to some conditions such as: (1) “He uses the expression ‘anything goes‘ to sum up the negative claim that there are no rational criteria of theory evaluation and the positive points that fluid value-laden standards are used to evaluate theories”; and (2) “and that a plurality of methodologies, involving a new relation between reason and practice, is most conducive to progress”[39]. Afterwards, Russel presumed that sociological research would give more support to Feyerabendian position than philosophical abstract argumentation[40]. Russel’s evaluation about Feyerabend’s has one problem. It is: Doesn’t every sociological research suppose one or more school of philosophy on the field of sociology? In my opinion, it is not only sociological research that will strengthen Feyerabendian position, but also other (social) science’s researches.

In one side, Newall considered that Feyerabend, through anything goes, precisely did reductio ad absurdum on the most sensitive sense. According to Newall, Feyerabend generalized every rationalist action when they used methodology to observe history of (social) science. On the other side, according to Newall, Feyerabend campaigned for anything goes, while he supposed that Lakatos’ methodology of scientific research programme should use epistemological anarchism[41]. Nevertheless, Tsou precisely suggested that anything goes should not be identified as positive methodological recommendation in scientific research but more as rhetorical challenges for rationalists who absolutely insisted to support unitary method for the sciences[42]. Thereby, Staley did not consider anything goes as positive recommendation but more as “…the only thing left to say if one insists, in the face of the principle-defying history of science, on having some universal methodology”[43]. Here, Staley was more sure that anything goes was similar to “rules tend to get broken”[44]. Some different perceptions-among Newall, Tsou, or Staley-lead to different reflection on anything goes. I derive five points from previous evaluation. (1) anything goes stands inherently only with epistemological anarchism. Feyerabend emphasizes that epistemological anarchism is the remedy for science in fascism or chauvinistic condition. Like another the remedy, it only can be used when science becomes sick. While, epistemological anarchism (with anything goes) can be used temporarily only in several specific conditions. Thus, (2) anything goes, as one principle, can not be defined and perceived as positive methodology. (Social) scientists should conscientiously consider that (3) anything goes needs primary supposition which is the first premise of its logical structure shown in the previous table. Such logical structure leads to: (4) this principle that does not available to all and general situations of (social) science. This (5) principle can not be use arbitrarily because it requires fascistic or chauvinistic condition of (social) science.

Feyerabend failed to convince other philosophers that pragmatic philosophy was as secondary supported argument for anything goes. I believe that pragmatic philosophy is not always applied by everyone when they encounter difficult situation. More or less, it shows Feyerabend’s inaccuracy. Here, Rorty stated that:

“Feyerabend’s writing are a lot like Pierce’s. When you pick up one of Feyerabend’s books, you often feel baffled by curt, confusing, not quite convincing, arguments for what seem unnecessarily overstated conclusions. To make things worse, these arguments are often hard to filter out from some very technical physics and some very detailed (and, one sometimes feels, slanted) stories from the history of science”[45].

These five points could be applied to uncover (social) science. Thereby, next section will review (social) science in two forms, one as product and another as process.

Anything goes and Individual Liberty on Science

Feyerabend campaigns for anything goes in four premises. I assume that the first premise tries to divest (social) scientists by violating the standards. Standards, in this context, have become social and cultural coercive power in scientific communities. Full (social) scientists’ self-realization will not reach its maximum if there is no effort to criticize the standards. But I should emphasize that the context of violating standards only valid on fascistic or chauvinistic condition of (social) science. Beyond the context, anything goes only remains as negatively liberating recommendation because it is often perceived arbitrarily only to fight for the absence of law, methodology, and rules in (social) science; and it requires certain scientific situations which is perceived as one self-restraint for scientists.

Second premise precisely limits (social) scientists’ movements because, in certain conditions, it requires unspecified and unspecifiable practice. In other words, (social) scientists only can observe if they act on unspecified and unspecifiable practice, while authenticated knowledge usually is obtained by specified and specifiable practice or, in Dewey’s terms, directed practice. I presume that the second premise negatively liberates scientists but it is for positive liberty viz as an effort to liberate (social) science from fascism or chauvinism.

Third premise only becomes the consequences of the first and second premises, while the fourth premise only becomes the consequences of all previous premises. In other word, anything goes, internally either externally, consists of two dimensions of liberty. Furthermore, the different positioning should be clarified in order to avoid vagueness of the liberty status of anything goes.

In the decade of 70′s, Feyerabend wrote that, “Most scientists today are devoid of ideas, full of fear, intent on producing some paltry result so that they can add to the flood of inane papers that now constitutes “scientific progress” in many areas”[46]. That evaluation is supported by an investigation reported by Broad and Wade, journalist of The New York Times and Times, where Claudius Ptolemy, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, John Dalton, Gregor Mendel until Robert Milikan did frauds and dishonesty on their reports[47]. Broad and Wade indicated that the problem is originated in the ideology of (social) science itself. They assumed that to anticipate it is only by omitting the (social) science conventional ideology[48]. Broad and Wade wrote:

“That ideology is seldom discussed or examined, yet it is all the more potent for being implicit. Most scientists would probably declare if asked that science has no ideology, that science itself is the opposite of ideology. But scientists in fact hold strong and definite views about their profession, about how it should operate, about what is a proper or improper procedure in terms of scientific methodology. These views amount to an ideology, because they are not derived solely from the facts but are shaped by preconceived ideals”[49].

In other words, the conventional ideology refers to one creed that believes (social) science does not have ideology or even incline to have different nature. Thereby, Feyerabend’s critique becomes contextual where (social) science has become a unique ideology[50]. Fascist or chauvinistic (social) science, as an ideology, restrains scientists to develop research.

The method of anything goes does not allude communication as one important area of contemporary scientific activities. Scientists cannot disseminate their controversial ideas, discoveries, even inventions; if they do not have adequate access to significant media. One interesting experience comes from Germany. A project of “95 Jahre Kritik der Speziellen Relativitätstheorie (1908-2003)” which was conducted and lead by G. O. Mueller, had received uncomfortable responses from many media neither inside nor outside Europe or USA[51]. I assume that fascism or chauvinism of (social) science has scattered in academic communities and influenced many media. At this point, I believe that anything goes cannot be used because media has specific and unique ways to publish something, especially discoveries or inventions of (social) science. Media still obeys and submits to the authority of scientific communities.

Otherwise, scientific communities do not remain fairly among each country. Scientists in developing countries unconsciously being perforced to scientists in the first world. While, finance and psychology (like inferiority) become problem in creating revolutionary discoveries or inventions, there is communication problem which has been caused by isolation. Shrum and Campion identify this isolation as one problematic issue in developing countries. They believe that scientists in developing countries, even though, are being isolated, they still work and build internal relationship. I assume that this isolation could lead to an intellectual confusion in the developmental process of (social) science in developing countries, because some discoveries or inventions from developing countries could not be delivered to the scientists in the first world. I do not assume that every discoveries or inventions ought to justify only in the first world but I believe that scientific communities should remain fairly and develop themselves globally regardless the political or the economical sentiments. However, perhaps in this case, until now anything goes cannot be the remedy for unfair global relations among scientists or scientific communities which have been affected by inequitable access to significant media or journal because anything goes is simply one recommendation of Feyerabend for fascistic and chauvinistic (social) science.

I presume that anything goes may become the the remedy for unfair local relations among scientists or in one scientific community in developing countries, because fascism or chauvinism of (social) science among developing countries must be different with fascism or chauvinism of (social) science among first world countries. It is similar with what has been shown by fascism or chauvinism of politics. I presume that fascism and chauvinism of (social) science in developing countries relatively can be solved by using anything goes, because (social) scientists in developing countries relatively depend on the first world’s (social) scientists. The dependency indirectly shows inability to develop (social) science autonomously. The dependency also tends to fascistic either chauvinistic conditions of imported (social) science. Thereafter anything goes can emerge easily.

Elusive trait of liberty causes difficulty for someone to define liberty, especially in the sense of freedom[52]. It influences the method of anything goes perceived by some people as liberating, but anything goes has two dimensional sides which are external and internal. The external side of the method of anything goes is closer to positive meaning of liberty[53] which has been shown in the first premise, where scientists and researchers develop a research that violates the standards, than to the negative meaning of liberty. While, the internal side of the method of anything goes is more pertinent with the negative meaning of liberty which has been shown in the second premise, where scientists and researchers are only permissible to do unspecified and unspecifiable practice.

Anything goes and (Social) Science Development in Indonesia

Every societies that comprehend (social) science as the producer and as the consumer at the same time relatively are easier to surpass the time of fascism, crisis, or revolution of (social) science. While, societies that comprehend (social) science more as consumer than as producer of the (social) science itself is relatively difficult to surpass the time of fascism, crisis, or even revolution of (social) science; even if these societies use anything goes as the the remedy like Feyerabend had been suggested. In other words, for Indonesian scientists, there are less possibility to use or to choose anything goes as one recipe for (social) science in some conditions such as sick, fascist, chauvinism, or even revolution. Indonesian scientists’ dependency on western (social) science developmentations has been developed terribly by mental attitude that has been neo-colonized academically. I considered that this neo-colonization has been started with massive academic expansions by U.S. government in the Cold War. They presumed that Indonesia was the interrupted chain of capitalism in South East Asia. Therefore US government sent many professor with wide-range (social) science expertise. If rationalism became the dominant school of thought in pre-national declaration of independence, so positivism became the next dominant school of thought in post-national declaration of independence[54].

One example can be obtained from economics development. There is one interesting development of economics well-known as Ekonomi Pancasila or Ekonomi Kerakyatan (Pancasila’s Economics or Populist Economics). This idea was constructed by Mubyarto who was a professor of economics in Faculty of Economy[55], Gadjah Mada University. Ekonomi Pancasila believes that Indonesia’s economics school of thought ought to enact five entities in Pancasila as the main issues and, therefore, make Indonesia’s economics theory based on the realities. Those five entities are (1) Ketuhanan yang Maha Esa (Belief in the one and only God); (2) Kemanusiaan yang Adil dan Beradab (fair and civilized humanity); (3) Persatuan Indonesia (The unity of Indonesia); (4) Kerakyatan yang Dipimpin oleh Hikmat Kebijaksanaan dalam Permusyawaratan/Perwakilan (Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives); (5) Keadilan Sosial bagi Seluruh Rakyat Indonesia (Social justice for the whole Indonesian Society).

Unfortunately, either New Order regime or Reformation regime, or economics system of education taught in the universities or school; has never used Ekonomi Pancasila as its main preference school of thought. Liberal economics theory has been attested as failed implementation in Indonesia since the New Order regime. Trickle down effect, as the major principle in liberal economic theory, has not reduced the number of poverty in Indonesia. Some Indonesian economists, well-known as mafia of Berkeley[56] who involve in the structure of New Order regime structure, always fail to adopt the western trickle down effect in Indonesia. Even they have misused privatization (which ought to extend local people ownership of one state enterprise) to become foreignerization (which tends to extend foreigner ownership of one state enterprise) while they are holding power.

Otherwise, Pancasila’s economists keep criticizing practical and theoretical standards of liberal economics in Indonesia such as government alleviated subsidy to populist sector, or even basic assumption about human in the frame of liberal nor neoliberal economics. According to Herry-Priyono, neoliberal economics supposes to use libertarian’s ideas of minimal state while its basic assumption about human is best represented by homo oeconomicus. Herry-Priyono believes that homo oeconomicus‘ manifestation are merchants and businessmans[57]. I think that neoliberal ambitious project is to expand homo oeconomicus to all kind of social relationships that could cause the bankruptcy of neoliberal economics. I believe that there is one immune sphere of neoliberal ambitious project to expand homo oeconomicus, that is culture. However, culture still could be influenced within (social) science that always teaches in the system of education.


I suppose that (social) science is one kind of epistemology that has two double faces. They are product and process, and it should be more considered as process than only as product to avoid fascistic or chauvinistic conditions of (social) science. Anything goes, which has been recommended by Feyerabend, should be applied by every scientists or scientific communities if and only if (social) science becomes fascistic nor chauvinistic. I assume that anything goes always improves scientists and scientific community state of liberty. Moreover anything goes itself contains positive and negative liberty.

End notes:

[1] I give ‘social’ before ‘science’ on the title because there are some linguistic problems about ‘science’ for me. ‘Science’ has been translated into ilmu in Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language). Ilmu is one absorptive word from Arabic. Ilmu, in Bahasa Indonesia and Arabic, it means that every form of knowledge that is exist. Even Bahasa Indonesia uses ilmu hitam for black magic. But then Bahasa Indonesia has absorbed ‘science’ and has become sains. It refers to physics, biology, engineering, and other exact disciplines. Ilmu has becomes more transcendental and it can be used for exact and non-exact disciplines. This is one problem.

I wrote a mini-thesis about anything goes in Bahasa Indonesia for my bachelor degree. Here, I faced other linguistic problems that I was being resorted to choose ilmu than sains because the scope of my previous research discussed more on social science in Indonesia. However, there were some cases from outside Indonesia about science that I used as some complements. That is the second problem.

I have to explain my previous research in English and I should not use only ‘science’ on the title above, so I add ‘social’ with parentheses before ‘science’ in each part of this paper to avoid misleading. It refers to science either social science. I hope this explanation could help.

[2] This is summary of my previous research on Paul Feyerabend’s conception of anything goes. I use Feyerabend’s conception to explain the relation between individual liberty and (social) science. I wrote this mini-thesis in Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language).

[3] I get all of Ian Shapiro’s direct quotes from the Indonesian version of his book whose title is The Moral Foundations of Politics. Ian Shapiro, Asas Moral dalam Politik (translated by Theresia Wuryantari and Trisno Sutanto, Jakarta: Embassy of USA in Jakarta cooperated with Freedom Institute and Yayasan Obor Indonesia, 2006), pp. 165. I cannot get the English-American version of Ian Shapiro’s book.

[4] Daniel Dhakidae, Cendekiawan dan Kekuasaan dalam Negara Orde Baru (Jakarta: Penerbit PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2003), pp. 334.

[5] Paul Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (London: Verso, 1978), pp. 32. Emphasis made by Feyerabend.

[6] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 296.

[7] Ibid, pp. 23.

[8] Ibid, pp. 28. Emphasis made by Feyerabend.

[9] Ibid, pp. 32. Emphasis made by Feyerabend.

[10] Ibid, pp. 32-3.

[11] C. A. van Peursen, Susunan Ilmu Pengetahuan: Sebuah Pengantar Filsafat Ilmu (translated by J. Drost, Jakarta: Penerbit P.T. Gramedia, 1985), pp. 90.

[12] Paul Feyerabend, op.cit., pp. 297-8.

[13] Paul Feyerabend, Three Dialogues on Knowledge (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1991), pp. 113.

[14] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 44-5.

[15] Paul Feyerabend, Science in a Free Society (Fourth Impression, London: Verso 1987), pp. 24.

[16] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 33. Further explanation about research programmism can be reach on Imre Lakatos, “Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes”, Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science, London, 1965, Volume 4 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1970), pp. 132-38.

[17] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 24-40.

[18] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 39-40.

[19] Imre Lakatos, op.cit., pp. 132.

[20] Ibid, pp. 135.

[21] I will discuss this part on the session of Anything goes and (Social) Science Development in Indonesia.

[22] Imre Lakatos, op.cit., pp. 175.

[23] Paul Feyerabend, op.cit., pp. 34.

[24] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 34.

[25] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 29.

[26] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 37.

[27] Paul Feyerabend, ibid, pp. 38.

[28] Feyerabend did not explain the pragmatic philosophy which he meant.

[29] Paul Feyerabend, op.cit., pp. 28.

[30] John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty (Ninth Impression, Edinburg: Capricorn Books Edition, 1960), pp. 251.

[31] I do not make any palpable differentiation about those two combinations. For further explanation about those combinations see Jujun S. Suriasumantri, Ilmu dalam Perspektif Moral, Sosial, dan Politik: Sebuah Dialog tentang Dunia Keilmuan Dewasa Ini, (Jakarta: P. T. Gramedia, 1986), pp. 7, 19, 159, 213.

[32] Jujun S. Suriasumantri, “Pembangunan Manusia Seutuhnya: Beberapa Pokok Pikiran Keilmuan”, in Jujun S. Suriasumantri (ed.), Ilmu dalam Perspektif Moral, Sosial, dan Politik: Sebuah Dialog tentang Dunia Keilmuan Dewasa Ini (Jakarta: Penerbit P. T. Gramedia, 1986), pp. 213.

[33] Paul Feyerabend, op.cit., pp. 39-40.

[34] Paul Feyerabend, op.cit., pp. 188.

[35] Paul Feyerabend, loc.cit.

[36] I add this emphasis.

[37] Paul Feyerabend, op.cit., pp. 28.

[38] Denise Russell, “Anything goes“, Social Studies of Science, (London: SAGE) Vol. 13, No. 3. (Aug., 1983), pp. 437-464.

[39] Denise Russel, ibid, pp. 440.

[40] Denise Russel, ibid, pp. 457.

[41] Paul Newall, “Anything goes”: Feyerabend and Method (2005),; last access 15 January 2007.

[42] Jonathan Y. Tsou, “Reconsidering Feyerabend’s ‘Anarchism’”, Perspectives on Science (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vol 11, No. 2, 2003), pp. 216.

[43] Staley, “Logic, Liberty, and Anarchy: Mill and Feyerabend on Scientific Method”, Social Science Journal, Vol. 36, Issue 4, 1999, pp. 2.

[44] Staley, ibid, pp. 9.

[45] Richard Rorty, “Untruth and consequences – Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend”, The New Republic; Jul 31, 1995; pp. 213-5.

[46] Paul Feyerabend, How To Defend Society Against Science, 1975, gained through; Last access 16 November 2006.

[47] William Broad and Nicholas Wade, Betrayers of the Truth (New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1982), pp. 22-23.

[48] William Broad and Nicholas Wade, ibid, pp. 212.

[49] William Broad and Nicholas Wade, ibid, pp. 129.

[50] Paul Feyerabend, Science in A Free Society (Fourth Impression, London: Verso, 1987), pp. 106-7.

[51] G. O. Mueller, First Open Letter about the Freedom of Science to some 290 public figures, personalities, newspapers, and journals in Europe and the USA in, published August 2006, last access November 22, 2007.

In this letter, Mueller wrote that they had sent the project report to 290 public figures, personalities, newspapers, and journal in Europe and USA.

[52] I differentiate between liberty and freedom as what G. A. Cohen has been made. He wrote, “But the left is wrong when it assimilates everything important that can be meant by “liberty” to its plausible conception of freedom as real possibility. And the right is wrong when it assimilates everything important that can be meant by “freedom” to its plausible conception of liberty as permissibility”. G. A. Cohen, Freedom and Money, (article which delivered as a lecture to the memory of Isaiah Berlin in April 1998 in Oxford and in May 1998 in Haifa, date 6 September 1999), pp. 40.

[53] I use Simon Blackburn definition about liberty. Simon Blackburn, The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 146.

He divided liberty become positive and negative. On the one hand, Blackburn wrote, “Positively, freedom is a condition of liberation from social and cultural forces that are perceived as impeding full self-realization”. On the other hand, he stated, “Narrowly, or negatively, freedom is thought of as the absence of constraint: ‘Freedom’, said Hobbes, ‘is the silence of law’”.

[54] Further explanation about (social) science development in Indonesia can be reach on Soeroso H. Prawirohardjo, “Ilmuwan Politik dan Ilmu Politik Alternatif”, in Jujun S. Suriasumantri (ed.), Ilmu dalam Perspektif Moral, Sosial, dan Politik: Sebuah Dialog tentang Dunia Keilmuan Dewasa Ini (Jakarta: Penerbit P. T. Gramedia, 1986), pp. 320.

[55] This faculty had changed its name to Faculty of Economics and Business. Professor Mubyarto was rejected the suggestion to change the faculty’s name as like now, because it represents neoliberal school of thought which does not ever concomitant with Indonesia’s sociological and economical realities. Thereby the suggestion had never been succeded until Professor Mubyarto died in 2005.

[56] This epithet refers to some Indonesian economists whom had been learnt in Department of Economics, University of Berkeley, California.

[57] B. Herry-Priyono, Neoliberalisme dan Sifat Elusif Kebebasan, Cultural Speech on Jakarta’s Board of Art, 10 November 2006, pp. 5-9.

Tentang Penulis

Qusthan Abqary - I am a lecturer and teach some subjects such as Ethics and Social Awareness, Corporate Governance and Ethics, Business Ethics, Critical and Creative Thinking and others. My research interests are political philosophy, ethics, peace, and war.

One Comments

Leave a Reply