From: labsoc- at -netspace.net.au (davie maclean)
I've just finished my essay on Feyerabend. Really like the guy. He actually puts, much more clearly too, the same position on dialectics of nature that I was stumbling towards. It is both realist and culturally relativist at the same time. I'll give you a flavour while its on my mind with a quote,
'For Aristotle, knowledge is qualitative and observational. Today knowledge is quantitative and theoretical, at least as far as our leading natural scientists are concerned. Who is right ? That depends on what kind of information has privileged status and this in turn depends on the culture, or the 'cultural leaders' who use the information. Many people, without much thought, prefer technology to harmony with Nature ; hence quantitative and theoretical information is regarded as 'real' and qualities as 'apparent' and secondary. But a culture that centres on humans, prefers personal acquaintance to abstract relations (intelligence quotients, efficiency statistics) and a naturalists' approach to that of molecular biologists will say that knowledge is qualitative and will interpret quantitative laws as bookkeeping devices, not as elements of reality'. (Against Method, 1993)
I think you should be able to see the connection between this and the position I was putting forward. This is not a million miles from Heidegger either, which is what I like about him too.