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Imre Lakatos (November 9th, 1922 - February 2nd, 1974)

  • Born

    Imre Lipschitz (changed once to Molnár to avoid Nazi persecution, then eventually Lakatos (or Locksmith) to portray his communist values, was born in Debrecen, Hungary on November 9th, 1922. Imre Lakatos. (2019, June 28). New World Encyclopedia, . Retrieved 23:19, December 5, 2021 from
  • Runaway Graduate

    Runaway Graduate
    As World War II raged on, Lakatos was attending the University of Debrecen and eventually graduated in 1944. With his new degree of philosophy, physics, and mathematics he was proud and ready to move forward in life. However, Hitler and Nazi Germany was beginning to oppress and execute the Jewish people, so he changed his name to Molnár and went into hiding. More than half of the Jewish people in Germany were killed including some of his own family.
  • Period: to

    Jail Time

    When Imre became an official in the Hungarian Ministry of Education in 1947, he struggled with authoritative figures and was sent to prison in 1950 for three years. When he was released from prison in 1953 (shortly after Joseph Stalin's death), a friend of his helped him find work by decoding books of mathematics into Hungarian.
  • Professor in Another Country

    Professor in Another Country
    After avoiding persecution and hiding from Nazi Germany again, Lakatos escaped to Vienna where he eventually studied for a philosophy degree at the University of Cambridge. In 1960, he became a professor at London School of Economics where he would continue to teach till the end of his days.
  • "Proofs and Refutations"

    "Proofs and Refutations"
    Lakatos began publishing his book "Proofs and Refutations" in four parts in 1963 in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. It was finished in 1976 after his death. This piece of work is one of his most famous, concerning a new methodology for fallibility in mathematics. Written as a compilation of Socratic discussions among students and a teacher, he believed definitions were not set in stone, and as time progressed needed to be revisited and patched up.
  • "The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes"

    "The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes"
    "The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes" or MSRP is a compilation of papers from Lakatos life regarding Karl Popper's philosophy of science and non-science, and an additional perspective of rationality. Respecting Popper and his beliefs, Lakatos had simply thought that the line of science and non-science was too restrictive and that there was another middle means regarding other aspects in life.
  • Date of Death and A Legacy Carried On

    Date of Death and A Legacy Carried On
    On February 2nd, 1974 (age 51), he died of a heart attack in London, United Kingdom. A tragic passing, but his theories and life's work was and will continue to be carried on. Mathematics is not approached the same with a new understanding of definition and science methodology. Furthermore, the LSE (London School of Economics) annually provides a brilliant mind with the Lakatos award for outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science.