It is said that 'Variety is the spice of life' - and if Feyerabend were to
have his way this motto would be readily adopted by philosophers
when approaching questions of reality. We live in a rich and varied
world, which is, ". . . abundant beyond our wildest imagination" (p.
3). Yet this goes generally unnoticed, due to our concern to sift
'reality' from 'appearance' and 'essence' from 'accident'. Once we
begin to employ such simple dichotomies as these, instead of
recognising and tolerantly respecting various genuine alternatives
among those possible for living, thinking about and engaging with
things, we misrepresent the nature of the world and our relation to it.
In the hope of developing a single, uniform account of things, we
disregard all that will not fit with it or reduce to it. Although this is
often billed as progress towards the 'real', it is in fact nothing but a
bias in favour of one way of seeing things over others. It constitutes a
self-imposed blindness, which is not only na|«ve but dangerous and
oppressive. These are the central messages of Feyerabend's final book,
which is a weaving together of two of his unfinished manuscripts that
expand on themes and case studies explored in a number of his earlier
articles, several of which are republished in the volume.