Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 75 (4):2067-2102 (2019)

Authors
Graham Harman
American University in Cairo
Abstract
The Hungarian-born philosopher of science Imre Lakatos introduces the methodology of scientific research programs, and also makes a famous distinction between “progressive” and “degenerating” programs. Although Lakatos does not give extensive guidance as to whether philosophical rather than scientific theories could also be judged in this way, he does give some intriguing hints in his discussion of a debate on induction between Rudolf Carnap and Karl Popper. After considering two extant but misguided attempts to use “degenerating” as a polemical term in philosophy, this article gathers the aforementioned hints from Lakatos and a few others from Alfred North Whitehead in an effort to identify what a “progressive philosophy” might look like.
Keywords Alfred North Whitehead,  degenerating,  Imre Lakatos,  Karl Popper,  progressive  research program,  Rudolf Carnap
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DOI 10.17990/rpf/2019_75_4_2067
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