Lakatos's approach on prediction and novel facts

Theoria 16 (3):499-518 (2001)
Abstract
Lakatos’s approach to prediction and novel facts is of considerable interest. Prediction appears in his conception in at least three different levels: a) as an important aim of the research programs; b) as a procedure -a key method- for increasing our scientific knowledge both theoretically and empirically; and c) as the way to assess the scientific character of knowledge claims -means for evaluating results-. At all these levels he envisions a close connection between prediction and novel facts. The paper has four aims. First, to examine his concept of “prediction” in Lakatos’s MSRP, taking into account different aspects (semantical, logical, epistemological, methodological and axiological). Second, to clarify the notion of “novel facts”, which requires the consideration of the various ways in which new facts can be understood. Third, to examine the prediction of novel facts as criterion of appraisal (theoretical, empirical and heuristical). Fourth, to explore Lakatos’s approach (i.e., the concept of prediction linked to novel facts) in connection with the field of economics, in order to shed new light on issues that have been discussed in recent years
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