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Imre Lakatos ( 1922-1974)

  • Encounter with Popper

    After his release from prison, Lakatos was hired to Math Institute of Hungarian Sciences, where while translating, reading and researching various topics, encountered writings of Popper for very first time. By 1956, under Popper's influence, he fully turned back on Stalinism, with speeches about the need for students and teachers to think precisely and critically, debating only with the facts in their hands, while demanding empirical proof and promoting independent thought.
  • Proofs and Refutations

    Proofs and Refutations
    Hint at Popper's "Conjectures and Refutations", Lacatos sets a stage for thesis, antithesis, synthesis as to what development of math as a science field is and isn't. At one hand, he agrees with Popper's view, at the other with Hegelian view of growth of math as growth of free thought in general. For him, math isn't set of Euclidean deductions, but end points of dielectric, evolutionary process where initial concepts become more defined as one "digs" deeper.
  • Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge

    Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge
    Lakatos is attempting to reconcile Popper's falsifiability with Kuhn's paradigm views by replacing Kuhn's social/physiological tools with logical methodology.Research programme is made of "core" assumptions and peripheral auxiliary hypotheses. Proving falsifiability of the program is redirected to peripherals, which can be modified. Changes are guided by heuristic principles of "the core". New theory progresses research program if predictions are testable and can be empirically proven.
  • Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes

    Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes
    Post mortem published collection of several papers deals with Lakatos' ideas of what are scientifically valid or not scientifically valid theories, as well as disagreement with Popper's ideas about what a scientific theory ought to be. To Lakatos, there are no individual theory, but sequence of theories, a research programme. Research Programme is good science as long as it is rational and progressive. It means that following theory must prove empirically what previous one could not.