About this topic
Summary Imre Lakatos (1922-1974) was a Hungarian philosopher of science and mathematics who spent the latter part of his career working in Britain, where he held a position at the London School of Economics.  He is best-known in the philosophy of science for his proposal of a methodology of scientific research programmes, which is in some respects an attempt to form a synthesis of Karl Popper's falsificationism and Thomas Kuhn's model of scientific theory change.  According to Lakatos, scientists work in research programmes which contain an inviolable hard core of laws and a revisable protective belt of auxiliary hypotheses.  Research programmes may be appraised on the basis of whether they make progress.  A programme is said to be progressive if it is both theoretically and empirically progressive.  A programme is theoretically progressive if a stage in the research programme leads to at least one novel prediction, and empirically progressive if at least some of its novel predictions are confirmed.  Scientists are able to rationally choose between competing research programmes by determining whether a programme is progressive.  Programmes which fail to be progressive are degenerative or stagnating and are to be rejected.
Key works The classic statement of Lakatos's methodology of scientific research programmes is 'Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes'.  For Lakatos's proposals on how to employ the history of science to evaluate theories of scientific method, see his 'History of Science and its Rational Reconstructions'.  These and other papers by Lakatos are most easily found in his collected papers The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes and Mathematics, Science and Epistemology.  Lakatos's best-known work in the philosophy of mathematics is Proofs and Refutations.  In Progress and its Problems, Larry Laudan suggests that hard cores should be taken to be subject to modification, rather than being treated as inviolable.  In Against Method, Feyerabend argues that Lakatos's methodology is "anarchism in disguise", since it does not tell scientists that they must abandon a degenerating in favor of a progressive research programme.  This issue is discussed at length in Alan Musgrave's paper, 'Method or Madness'.
Introductions See chapter nine of Alan Chalmers' What is this thing called science?.  See also Brendan Larvor's book Lakatos: An Introduction
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394 found
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  1. added 2018-12-21
    From the Logic of Mathematical Discovery to the Methodology of Scientific-Research Programs.Yx Zheng - 1990 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 41 (3):377-399.
  2. added 2018-12-21
    Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Invention?Elie Zahar - 1983 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 34 (3):243-261.
  3. added 2018-12-21
    Science, History and Methodology: Review of Lakatos and Musgrave Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge; and Buck and Cohen Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science Vol 8. [REVIEW]J. J. C. Smart - 1972 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):266-274.
  4. added 2018-04-19
    Lakatosian Particularism.Howard Sankey - 2018 - Logos and Episteme (1):49-59.
    This paper explores a particularist element in the theory of method of Imre Lakatos, who appealed to the value-judgements of élite scientists in the appraisal of competing theories of method. The role played by such value-judgements is strongly reminiscent of the epistemological particularism of Roderick Chisholm. Despite the existence of a clear parallel between the particularist approaches of both authors, it is argued that Lakatos’s approach is subject to a weakness that does not affect the approach of Chisholm.
  5. added 2018-03-08
    Internal History Versus External History.Bence Nanay - 2017 - Philosophy 92 (2):207-230.
  6. added 2018-02-18
    Proofs and Refutations: The Logic of Mathematical Discovery.Imre Lakatos, John Worrall & Elie Zahar (eds.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    Proofs and Refutations is essential reading for all those interested in the methodology, the philosophy and the history of mathematics. Much of the book takes the form of a discussion between a teacher and his students. They propose various solutions to some mathematical problems and investigate the strengths and weaknesses of these solutions. Their discussion raises some philosophical problems and some problems about the nature of mathematical discovery or creativity. Imre Lakatos is concerned throughout to combat the classical picture of (...)
  7. added 2018-02-17
    Lakatos’s Challenge? Auxiliary Hypotheses and Non-Monotonous Inference.Frank Zenker - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):405-415.
    Gerhard Schurz [2001, Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 32, 65-107] has proposed to reconstruct auxiliary hypothesis addition, e.g., postulation of Neptune to immunize Newtonian mechanics, with concepts from non-monotonous inference to avoid the retention of false predictions that are among the consequence-set of the deductive model. However, the non-monotonous reconstruction retains the observational premise that is indeed rejected in the deductive model. Hence, his proposal fails to do justice to Lakatos' core-belt model, therefore fails to meet what Schurz coined (...)
  8. added 2018-02-17
    Lakatos: An Introduction.Brendan Larvor - 1998 - Routledge.
    _Lakatos: An Introduction_ provides a thorough overview of both Lakatos's thought and his place in twentieth century philosophy. It is an essential and insightful read for students and anyone interested in the philosophy of science.
  9. added 2017-09-25
    On the Determination of Planetary Distances in the Ptolemaic System.Christián C. Carman - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):257-265.
    In 1975, Imre Lakatos and Elie Zahar claimed that the determination of planetary distances represents excess empirical content of Copernicus's theory over that of Ptolemy. This claim provoked an interesting discussion during the first half of the 1980s. The discussion started when Alan Chalmers affirmed that it is not correct to attribute this advantage to the Copernican system over the Ptolemaic. Other scholars criticized Chalmers's assertion, reaffirming the position of Lakatos and Zahar: one went even further, asserting that Copernicus has (...)
  10. added 2017-02-14
    Reasoning About Representations in Autonomous Systems: What Pόlya and Lakatos Have to Say.Alan Bundy - 2012 - In David McFarland, Keith Stenning & Maggie McGonigle (eds.), The Complex Mind. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 167.
  11. added 2017-01-28
    A Computational Model Of Lakatos-Style Reasoning.Alison Pease - 2013 - Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal 27.
  12. added 2017-01-28
    On Incompatability in and Between Scientific Research Programmes.Filip Cassel - 1984
  13. added 2017-01-26
    Zubiri, Lakatos y la Crisis Gödeliana Del Fundamento Matemático.Guillerma Diaz Muñoz - 1999 - The Xavier Zubiri Review 3.
  14. added 2017-01-18
    Are Methodologies Theories of Scientific Rationality?Ronald C. Curtis - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):135-161.
    Historians should not use their own up-to-date methodologies to judge the rationality or correctness of the research strategies of scientists in history. For the history of science is, in part, the history of the rational growth of methodology and the historian's own up-to-date methodology is, in part, a product of the scientific revolutions of the past. Historians who use their own methodologies to judge the rationality of past research strategies are being too wise after the event. I show, using the (...)
  15. added 2017-01-16
    For and Against Method: Including Lakatos's Lectures on Scientific Method and the Lakatos-Feyerabend Correspondence. Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend, Matteo Motterlini.Richard Brown - 2001 - Isis 92 (3):643-643.
  16. added 2017-01-16
    Lakatos: An Introduction. Brendan Larvor.Teun Koetsier - 1999 - Isis 90 (3):641-641.
  17. added 2017-01-16
    Criticism and the History of Science: Kuhn's, Lakatos's, and Feyerabend's Criticisms of Critical Rationalism. Gunnar Andersson.Thomas Nickles - 1996 - Isis 87 (2):396-397.
  18. added 2017-01-16
    Lakatos' Philosophy of Mathematics: A Historical Approach. Teun Koetsier.Mark Steiner - 1993 - Isis 84 (3):619-620.
  19. added 2017-01-16
    Philosophy of Science Essays in Memory of Imré Lakatos. Edited by R. S. Cohen, P. K. Feyerabend, and M. W. Wartofsky. Dordrecht & Boston: D. Reidel, 1976. Pp. Xi + 754 + Index. $62.00. [REVIEW]David Bloor - 1979 - British Journal for the History of Science 12 (1):91.
  20. added 2017-01-16
    Criticism and the Growth of KnowledgeImre Lakatos Alan Musgrave.Mario F. del Carril - 1973 - Isis 64 (3):399-400.
  21. added 2017-01-16
    Philosophy of Science Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science, London 1965, Volume 4. Ed. By Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave. London: Cambridge University Press. Pp. Viii + 282. 1970. £3.50. [REVIEW]R. G. A. Dolby - 1971 - British Journal for the History of Science 5 (4):400.
  22. added 2017-01-15
    An Examination of Counterexamples in Proofs and Refutations.Samet Bağçe & Can Başkent - 2009 - Philosophia Scientae 13:3-20.
  23. added 2017-01-14
    Prediction and Novel Facts in the Methodology of Scientific Research Programs.Wenceslao J. Gonzalez - 2015 - In Philosophico-Methodological Analysis of Prediction and its Role in Economics. Springer Verlag.
  24. added 2017-01-14
    The Problem of Excess Content: Economics, Novelty and a Long Popperian Tale.D. Wade Hands - 1991 - In Mark Blaug & Neil de Marchi (eds.), Appraising Economic Theories: Studies in the Methodology of Research Programs. Edward Elgar. pp. 58-75.
    The paper traces the sequence of events which brought Popperian philosophy (including Lakatos) to its position on the issues of excess content, novelty and scientific progress. The general approach is to analyze Popper's and Lakatos's positions on these issues as an appropriate response to a particular philosophical problem situation in which they found themselves. The paper closes with a discussion of how these issues relate to economics and economic methodology.
  25. added 2017-01-14
    Second Thoughts on Lakatos.D. Wade Hands - 1985 - History of Political Economy 17:1-16.
  26. added 2017-01-14
    The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers.John Worrall & Gregory Currie (eds.) - 1980 - Cambridge University Press.
    Imre Lakatos' philosophical and scientific papers are published here in two volumes. Volume I brings together his very influential but scattered papers on the philosophy of the physical sciences, and includes one important unpublished essay on the effect of Newton's scientific achievement. Volume II presents his work on the philosophy of mathematics, together with some critical essays on contemporary philosophers of science and some famous polemical writings on political and educational issues. Imre Lakatos had an influence out of all proportion (...)
  27. added 2016-12-08
    Dynamic Interactions with the Philosophy of Mathematics.Yuxin Zheng - 2001 - Theoria 16 (3):437-459.
    Dynamic interaction is said to occur when two significanrly different fields A and B come into relation, and their interaction is dynamic in the sense that at first the flow of ideas is principally from A to B, but later ideas from B come to influence A. Two examples are given of dynamic interactions with the philosophy of mathematics. The first is with philosophy of scicnce, and the sccond with computer science. The analysis enables Lakatos to be charactcrised as the (...)
  28. added 2016-12-08
    Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason.John Kadvany - 2001 - Duke University Press.
    The Hungarian émigré Imre Lakatos earned a worldwide reputation through the influential philosophy of science debates involving Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, and Sir Karl Popper. In _Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason_ John Kadvany shows that embedded in Lakatos’s English-language work is a remarkable historical philosophy rooted in his Hungarian past. Below the surface of his life as an Anglo-American philosopher of science and mathematics, Lakatos covertly introduced novel transformations of Hegelian and Marxist ideas about historiography, skepticism, criticism, and (...)
  29. added 2016-12-05
    Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, and Aim-Oriented Empiricism.Nicholas Maxwell - 2001 - Philosophia 32 (1-4):181-239.
    In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism (AOE), a conception of natural science that I have defended at some length elsewhere[1], is a kind of synthesis of the views of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos, but is also an improvement over the views of all three. Whereas Popper's falsificationism protects metaphysical assumptions implicitly made by science from criticism, AOE exposes all such assumptions to sustained criticism, and furthermore focuses criticism on those assumptions most likely to need revision if science is (...)
  30. added 2016-10-04
    Observation, Meaning and Theory: Review of For and Against Method by Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend. [REVIEW]Nicholas Maxwell - 2000 - Times Higher Education Supplement 1:30-30.
    Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend initially both accepted Popper's philosophy of science, but then reacted against it, and developed it in different directions. Lakatos sought to reconcile Kuhn and Popper by characterizing science as a process of competing research programmes, competing fragments of Kuhn's normal science. Feyerabend emphasized the need to develop rival theories to facilitate severe empirical testing of accepted theories, but then, as a result of a disastrous mistake, came to hold that theories that are incompatible with one (...)
  31. added 2016-06-17
    Argumentation and the Mathematical Process.David Corfield - 2002 - In G. Kampis, L.: Kvasz & M. Stöltzner (eds.), Appraising Lakatos: Mathematics, Methodology and the Man. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 115--138.
  32. added 2016-02-24
    Imre Lakatos: A Critical Appraisal.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    Imre Lakatos holds a well-deserved primary place in current philosophy of science. In this essay, Leslie Allan critically examines Lakatos' theory of knowledge in two key areas. The first area of consideration is Lakatos' notion that knowledge is gained through a process of competition between rival scientific research programmes. Allan identifies and discusses four problems with Lakatos' characterization of a research programme. Next, Allan considers Lakatos' proposed test of adequacy for theories of rationality using his methodology of historiographical research programmes. (...)
  33. added 2015-05-23
    Lakatos on proof and on mathematics.J. Agassi - 1981 - Logique Et Analyse 24 (95):437.
  34. added 2015-05-16
    Science, Metaphysics, and Scientific Realism.Jerzy Gołosz - 2011 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):27-45.
    The paper can be logically divided into two parts. In the first part I distinguish two kinds of metaphysics: basic metaphysics, which affects scientific theories, and a second kind, which is an effect of interpretations of these theories. I try to show the strong mutual relations between metaphysics and science and to point out that the basic metaphysics of science is based on realistic assumptions. In the second part of my paper I suggest that we should consider the basic metaphysics (...)
  35. added 2015-05-16
    Scientific Realism and The Ironic Science.Nikita Golovko - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 53:73-76.
    The development of string theory shows an unusual situation within the development of knowledge theory. Science achieves progress in understanding nature without direct empirical confirmation. Definitely, “an altered conception of scientific progress emerges” (R. Dawid). In our opinion, the only possibility to understand the new situation is to adopt some kind of naturalized epistemology. Naturalization viewed as declining of the a-prioriticity of philosophical knowledge, first, and reintroducing of psychology, second (P. Kitcher), gives many naturalized approaches in the realism debate field. (...)
  36. added 2015-04-05
    Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend, For and Against Method. [REVIEW]Mary Leng - 2000 - Philosophy in Review 20:115-117.
  37. added 2015-04-05
    Brendan Larvor, Lakatos: An Introduction. [REVIEW]Mary Leng - 1999 - Philosophy in Review 19:198-200.
  38. added 2015-04-05
    The Science of God: Philosophy of Science and the Search for Theological Foundations.Don Wade Dotson - 1997 - Dissertation, The Union Institute
    This dissertation analyses Nancey Murphy's attempt in her Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning to ground theology in the philosophy of science of Imre Lakatos. Murphy claims that theology since Hume has been in retreat because it has not kept pace with changing standards of rationality. In modern times the accepted standard of rationality is scientific reasoning. In order for theology to recover its place in academia, it must conform to this standard and become a science. Murphy claims that (...)
  39. added 2015-04-05
    The Philosophy of Mathematics of Imre Lakatos.Brendan Larvor - 1995
    DPhil dissertation, University of Oxford.
  40. added 2015-04-05
    Non-Formal Properties of Real Mathematical Proofs.Jean Paul van Bendegem - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:249-254.
    The heuristics and strategies presented in Lakatos' Proofs and Refutations are well-known. However they hardly present the whole story as many authors have shown. In this paper a recent, rather spectacular, event in the history of mathematics is examined to gather evidence for two new strategies. The first heuristic concerns the expectations mathematicians have that a statement will be proved using given methods. The second heuristic tries to make sense of the mathematicians' notion of the quality of a proof.
  41. added 2015-04-05
    From Hegel to Lakatos: An Essay in Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.John David Kadvany - 1983 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    Contrary to Imre Lakatos' claims to have given up his Hegelian background, it is argued that Lakatos has carefully woven a number of key Hegelian ideas into his philosophy of mathematics and science. In analogy with Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Lakatos' Proofs and Refutations is considered as a philosophical-historical Bildungsroman, the "hero" of which is Euler's theorem on polyhedra whose "odyssey" recapitulates changes in the standards of nineteenth-century mathematical criticism. It is argued that Lakatos' methodology of scientific research programs is (...)
  42. added 2015-04-05
    Reason and Research: A Critique of the Theory of Research Programmes.Brian Scott Baigrie - 1983 - Dissertation, York University (Canada)
    Karl Popper attempted to solve what he called "the two fundamental problems of epistemology"--the problems of induction and the demarcation of science and metaphysics. The discovery of a metaphysical component in science placed his criterion of demarcation in jeopardy because it is not clear how one can evaluate this component in terms of Popper's conception of scientific progress. The theory of research programmes, offered by Lakatos and Laudan, attempts to solve this problem by marrying the views of Popper and Kuhn. (...)
  43. added 2015-04-05
    Charles Darwin and the Refutation of Whewellian Metascience: How the Philosophy of Science Learned From the History of Science.Ronald Clarence Curtis - 1983 - Dissertation, York University (Canada)
    How does the philosophy of science learn from history? Imre Lakatos argued that we can criticize various methodologies by testing them against the basic value judgments of working scientists in history. If a methodology gives a judgment which is dissonant with that of working scientists, this should be seen as a criticism of the methodology which may have to be rejected in favour of a better one. Lakatos based his argument on the view that methodologies are theories of scientific rationality. (...)
  44. added 2015-04-05
    The Interdependence of History of Science and Philosophy of Science: Toward a Meta-Theory of Scientific Rationality.Stephen John Wykstra - 1978 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
  45. added 2015-04-05
    The Standard of Rationality According to K. Popper and I. Lakatos.Adam Jonkisz - 1978 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 26 (3):108.
  46. added 2015-04-05
    A Critique of Imre Lakatos' Theory of Scientific Rationality.Patrick George Derr - 1976 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
  47. added 2015-04-05
    I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave , "Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge". [REVIEW]T. R. Girill - 1973 - Metaphilosophy 4:246.
  48. added 2015-04-04
    Lakatos and After.John Worrall & London School of Economics and Political Science - 2000 - Lse Centre for the Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences.
  49. added 2015-04-04
    Brendan Larvor, Lakatos: An Introduction.A. Belsey - 1999 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 7 (3):405-406.
  50. added 2015-04-04
    A Restrictive Interpretation Of Lakatos' Rationality Theory.Vassilis Kalfas - 1984 - Philosophia Naturalis 21 (2/4):376-382.
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