FOR AND AGAINST BRECHT: Feyerabend’s “failed” encounter

Feyerabend talks about the arrogance of intellectuals who claim to talk in the name of humanity. Deleuze has made similar remarks on the indignity of speaking in another’s place. Laruelle talks of non-philosophy and of a democracy of thought, and Badiou speaks of equality. All detest those who would pose as spokespersons for an abstraction, and who cultivate their intellect (and their power) at the expense of their humanity:

Feyerabend likes to cite Brecht as providing a vaster perspective than Rationalism, but he ultimately rejects his dualism and his dogmatism (and also the group dynamics surrounding him: a pushy in-group, intimidation and over-dedication, collective pressure).

In his autobiography, KILLING TIME, Feyerabend talks about the “biggest mistake” of his life, as he once called it, of refusing an opportunity to be Brecht’s assistant. He admits that this decision went counter to his desire to learn from such an “extraorinary man”, but attributes the refusal to his “instinctive aversion to group thinking”.

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