Heuristic, methodology or logic of discovery? Lakatos on patterns of thinking

Perspectives on Science 14 (3):302-317 (2006)
Abstract
Heuristic is a central concept of Lakatos' philosophy both in his early works and in his later work, the methodology of scientific research programs . The term itself, however, went through significant change of meaning. In this paper I study this change and the ‘metaphysical' commitments behind it. In order to do so, I turn to his mathematical heuristic elaborated in Proofs and Refutations. I aim to show the dialogical character of mathematical knowledge in his account, which can open a door to hermeneutic studies of mathematical practice
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