Appraising Lakatos: Mathematics, Methodology and the Man

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Springer Science & Business Media, Mar 31, 2002 - Mathematics - 382 pages
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Imre Lakatos (1922-1974) was one of the protagonists in shaping the "new philosophy of science". More than 25 years after his untimely death, it is time for a critical re-evaluation of his ideas. His main theme of locating rationality within the scientific process appears even more compelling today, after many historical case studies have revealed the cultural and societal elements within scientific practices. Recently there has been, above all, an increasing interest in Lakatos' philosophy of mathematics, which emphasises heuristics and mathematical practice over logical justification. But suitable modifications of his approach are called for in order to make it applicable to modern axiomatised theories.

Pioneering historical research in England and Hungary has unearthed hitherto unknown facts about Lakatos' personal life, his wartime activities and his involvement in the political developments of post-war Europe. From a communist activist committed to Györgyi Lukács' thinking, Lakatos developed into a staunch anti-Marxist who found his intellectual background in Popper's critical rationalism. The volume also publishes for the first time a part of his Debrecen Ph.D. thesis and it is concluded by a bibliography of his Hungarian writings.

 

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Contents

JOHN WATKINS The Propositional Content of
3
DONALD GILLIES LakatosCriticisms of Popper
13
MATTEO MOTTERLINI Professor Lakatos Between
23
Lakatos
53
GABOR FORRAI Lakatos Reason and History
73
JOHN WORRALL Heuristic Power and the Logic of Scientific
85
PETER SZEGEDI Lakatos on Crucial Experiments and
101
UNDERWAY TO A PHILOSOPHY OF CONTEMPORARY MATHEMATICS
113
TEUN KOETSIER Lakatos Mitigated Scepticism in
189
LADISLAV KVASZ Lakatos Methodology Between
211
OLGA KISS Mathematical Heuristic Lakatos and Polya
243
HANSCHRISTIAN REICHEL Lakatos and Aspects
255
LIFE AND POLITICS
261
LASZLO ROPOLYI Lakatos and Lukacs
303
LEE CONGDON Lakatos Political Reawakening
339
A Documentation Arranged by Gabor Kutrovatz
353

THOMAS MORMANN Towards an Evolutionary Account
139
MICHAEL STOLTZNER What Lakatos Could Teach
157

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