Reconstructing Lakatos: A reassessment of Lakatos' epistemological project in the light of the Lakatos archive

Based on the material in the Lakatos Archive, this paper reconstructs, and then re-assesses, Lakatos' epistemological project by placing it in the context of the debate on the role of reason in the history of science, and of the justification of rationality as a normative notion. It is claimed that Lakatos' most fruitful ideas come from a peculiar philosophical combination of Hegelian historicism and Popperian fallibilism. The original tension, however, cannot be ultimately resolved. As a consequence, the problems that Lakatos has to deal with in his attempt to justify a set of genuinely epistemological canons of scientific rationality that are not reducible to psychology or sociology of knowledge stand as a warning for any normative philosophy of science that takes history at its face value.
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References found in this work BETA
Solomon Feferman (1978). The Logic of Mathematical Discovery Vs. The Logical Structure of Mathematics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:309 - 327.
Paul K. Feyerabend (1976). On the Critique of Scientific Reason. In R. S. Cohen, P. K. Feyerabend & M. Wartofsky (eds.), Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos. Reidel 109--143.
Arthur Fine (1978). Conceptual Change in Mathematics and Science: Lakatos' Stretching Refined. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:328 - 341.

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