An Anarchist Epistemology in Evaluation

Science is an essentially anarchic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternatives.
Paul Feyerabend, Against Method

Substitute evaluation for science in the Feyerabend quote and then consider the contemporary practice of evaluation. As practice and as theory, evaluation embodies an anarchist epistemology and additionally some evaluators employ an anarchist epistemology. It is this anarchist epistemology that makes evaluation a powerful means to progress. If ones looks at the explosion of theoretical ideas in evaluation, methods used (evaluation borrows liberally not just from psychology and sociology but from all the social sciences, the arts, philosophy, and indeed wherever something pragmatically useful can be found), forms of human interaction, and ways of representing knowledge one would conclude that indeed as a discipline evaluation already embodies an anarchist epistemology.

To read a short paper on this idea go to An Anarchist Epistemology of Evaluation

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