Preparing to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Paul K. Feyerabend

Updated July 2021

January 2024 will mark 100 years from the birth of Paul K. Feyerabend, and thirty years from his ‘departure from the planet’, as he might have put it.  2024 will thus offer an excellent opportunity to remember and celebrate Paul, both as a human being and in 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, have been invited to get in touch and exchange ideas.  An international centennial committee has formed and has been gathering online in October 2020 and June 2021. Here is the list of the members of the centennial committee.

Paul Feyerabend has lived and taught across three continents, and his published work has been diffused in many languages, with a readership that extends well beyond purely academic circles. With that in mind, a series of small-to-medium-size events to take place in various locations before and throughout 2024 has seemed appropriate.  At the moment, events are being proposed and planned in diverse countries, including : Switzerland, where Paul worked at ETH in Zurich and was at home for many years, and where the Foundation dedicated to his memory is located; Austria, where Paul was born and educated; the USA, where he spent most of his academic career; the UK, where he taught and lived; and Italy, Germany, Brazil, Nigeria and Cameroun where there are lively groups of interested scholars and his work continues to engage students and readers. In the post-COVID19 world, events online, and the diffusion of events online are familiar to everyone and will likely be part of the collection.

The list of events so far completed, being planned, envisaged or just initially discussed as of July 2021 is available here.  It includes new volumes of essays about Paul’s work; dedicated symposia, seminars and panels on diverse relevant subjects; translations and new editions of his works; a ten-year memorial lecture series; a collection of 365 memorable quotes from, or about, his work to be diffused in 2024;  special issues of journals; an exchange of university course material; a dedicated public space with a  ‘bench with a view’;  a dedicated music composition; an exhibition, and radio programmes, films, videos and music recitals; a gathering of personal recollections; and many other occasions to celebrate a colleague, friend, mentor and/or stimulating intellectual opponent.  Overall, the events will hopefully highlight, from Paul’s work, some lessons and ideas of practical value, helping with concrete predicaments and cherishing and enriching what we all care about.

News of what will be organised will appear in this page, and we invite you to send a message to pkfcentennial@pkfeyerabend.org if you wish to offer specific comments and ideas.

Logo PKF Centennial

A note about the Centennial logo :
The logo was prepared by Matteo Collodel based on these two (unpublished) quotations from the Feyerabend-Lakatos correspondence:

1. “PS: 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).

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

See also these documentaries part 1, part 2.