An hungarian tragedy

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):413 – 422 (2004)
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In spite of being a very public intellectual, the philosopher Imre Lakatos (who died in 1974) was little understood. His Hungarian background seemed irrelevant to his career at the London School of Economics as the colleague and then successor to Sir Karl Popper. In Imre Lakatos and The Guises of Reason, John Kadvany demonstrates the overwhelming importance of Lakatos's Hungarian background, and thereby also explains and illuminates Lakatos's philosophy. His study also demonstrates the power of Hegel's thought as the background to any genuinely historical approach to philosophy, even of science and mathematics. He also provides a glimpse of the nightmare world of Stalinist Hungary, as a contribution to an explanation of Lakatos's personal and intellectual style. Kadvany's exposition does much to clarify and explain Lakatos's philosophy, thereby enhancing his reputation and also making his work, much of it still of vital significance, more accessible to a new public.



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