In the first case it emerges that the evidence that might refute a theory can often be unearthed only with the help of an incompatible alternative: the advice (which goes back to Newton and which is still popular today) to use alternatives only when refutations have already discredited the orthodox theory puts the cart before the horse. Also, some of the most important formal properties of a theory are found by contrast, and not by analysis. A scientist who wishes to maximize the empirical content of the views he holds and who wants to understand them as clearly as he possibly can must therefore introduce other views; that is, he must adopt a pluralistic methodology. He must compare ideas with other ideas rather than with 'experience' and he must try to improve rather than discard the views that have failed in the competition. Proceeding in this way he will retain the theories of man and cosmos that are found in Genesis, or in the Pimander, he will elaborate them and use them to measure the success of evolution and other 'modern' views. He may then discover that the theory of evolution is not as good as is generally assumed and that it must be supplemented, or entirely replaced, by an improved version of Genesis. Knowledge so conceived is not a series of self-consistent theories that converges towards an ideal view; it is not a gradual approach to truth. It is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible alternatives, each single theory, each fairy-tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others in greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition, to the development of our consciousness. Nothing is ever settled, no view can ever be omitted from a comprehensive account. Plutarch or Diogenes Laertius, and not Dirac or von Neumann, are the models for presenting a knowledge of this kind in which the history of a science becomes an inseparable part of the science itself - it is essential for its further development as well as for giving content to the theories it contains at any particular moment. Experts and laymen, professionals and dilettani, truth-freaks and liars - they all are invited to participate in the contest and to make their contribution to the enrichment of our culture. The task of the scientist, however, is no longer 'to search for the truth', or 'to praise god', or 'to synthesize observations', or 'to improve predictions'. These are but side effects of an activity to which his attention is now mainly directed and which is 'to make the weaker case the stronger' as the sophists said, and thereby to sustain the motion of the whole.

~ Paul Karl Feyerabend