Beyond the methodology of mathematics research programmes

Philosophia Mathematica 6 (3):272-301 (1998)
Abstract
In this paper I assess the obstacles to a transfer of Lakatos's methodology of scientific research programmes to mathematics. I argue that, if we are to use something akin to this methodology to discuss modern mathematics with its interweaving theoretical development, we shall require a more intricate construction and we shall have to move still further away from seeing mathematical knowledge as a collection of statements. I also examine the notion of rivalry within mathematics and claim that this appears to be significant only at a high level. In addition, ideas of ‘progress’ in mathematics are outlined.
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