SummaryThis paper deals with the less researched issue of regional federation projects in East-Central Europe from the period 1848 to 1918. Based on exhaustive research, primarily using original sources—works of the intellectuals who designed these projects—the paper examines the reasons why these federation projects were written, their historical-political context, and why these plans had to fail at their time. Similarities and differences of ideas in these projects are also presented. The intention is not to give a simple presentation of a (...) series of historical facts, but to present some early ideas focused on regional integration, which, in turn, could also provide inspiration in the present. (shrink)
The work that helped to determine Paul Feyerabend's fame and notoriety, Against Method,stemmed from Imre Lakatos's challenge: "In 1970 Imre cornered me at a party. 'Paul,' he said, 'you have such strange ideas.
Imre Lakatos' philosophical and scientific papers are published here in two volumes. Volume I brings together his very influential but scattered papers on the philosophy of the physical sciences, and includes one important unpublished essay on the effect of Newton's scientific achievement. Volume II presents his work on the philosophy of mathematics (much of it unpublished), together with some critical essays on contemporary philosophers of science and some famous polemical writings on political and educational issues. Imre Lakatos had (...) an influence out of all proportion to the length of his philosophical career. This collection exhibits and confirms the originality, range and the essential unity of his work. It demonstrates too the force and spirit he brought to every issue with which he engaged, from his most abstract mathematical work to his passionate 'Letter to the director of the LSE'. Lakatos' ideas are now the focus of widespread and increasing interest, and these volumes should make possible for the first time their study as a whole and their proper assessment. (shrink)
Two books have been particularly influential in contemporary philosophy of science: Karl R. Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery, and Thomas S. Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Both agree upon the importance of revolutions in science, but differ about the role of criticism in science's revolutionary growth. This volume arose out of a symposium on Kuhn's work, with Popper in the chair, at an international colloquium held in London in 1965. The book begins with Kuhn's statement of his position followed by (...) seven essays offering criticism and analysis, and finally by Kuhn's reply. The book will interest senior undergraduates and graduate students of the philosophy and history of science, as well as professional philosophers, philosophically inclined scientists, and some psychologists and sociologists. (shrink)
Proofs and Refutations is essential reading for all those interested in the methodology, the philosophy and the history of mathematics. Much of the book takes the form of a discussion between a teacher and his students. They propose various solutions to some mathematical problems and investigate the strengths and weaknesses of these solutions. Their discussion (which mirrors certain real developments in the history of mathematics) raises some philosophical problems and some problems about the nature of mathematical discovery or creativity. Imre (...)Lakatos is concerned throughout to combat the classical picture of mathematical development as a steady accumulation of established truths. He shows that mathematics grows instead through a richer, more dramatic process of the successive improvement of creative hypotheses by attempts to 'prove' them and by criticism of these attempts: the logic of proofs and refutations. (shrink)
_Lakatos: An Introduction_ provides a thorough overview of both Lakatos's thought and his place in twentieth century philosophy. It is an essential and insightful read for students and anyone interested in the philosophy of science.
Imre Lakatos' views on the philosophy of mathematics are important and they have often been underappreciated. The most obvious lacuna in this respect is the lack of detailed discussion and analysis of his 1976a paper and its implications for the methodology of mathematics, particularly its implications with respect to argumentation and the matter of how truths are established in mathematics. The most important themes that run through his work on the philosophy of mathematics and which culminate in the 1976a (...) paper are (1) the (quasi-)empirical character of mathematics and (2) the rejection of axiomatic deductivism as the basis of mathematical knowledge. In this paper Lakatos' later views on the quasi-empirical nature of mathematical theories and methodology are examined and specific attention is paid to what this view implies about the nature of mathematical argumentation and its relation to the empirical sciences. (shrink)
Why did Copernicus's research programme supersede Ptolemy's?’, Lakatos and Zahar argued that, on Zahar's criterion for ‘novel fact’, Copernican theory was objectively scientifically superior to Ptolemaic theory. They are mistaken, Lakatos and Zahar applied Zahar's criterion to ‘a historical thought-experiment’—fictional rather than real history. Further, in their fictional history, they compared Copernicus to Eudoxus rather than Ptolemy, ignored Tycho Brahe, and did not consider facts that would be novel for geostatic theories. When Zahar's criterion is applied to real (...) history, the results are distinctly different. Finally, most of the historical and conceptual problems in applying Zahar's criterion to the Copernican Revolution primarily arise from a deep difficulty in Lakatos's programme: the necessity of individuating research programmes and identifying their originators. 1 Working closely with David Dahl was crucial in developing this paper. Robert Westman's valiant effort to keep me on the historical straight and narrow drastically limited my tendency to a priori historical pronouncements. The Vassar Philosophy Department, John Tompsich, and Jean Sterling were also helpful. (shrink)
The Hungarian émigré Imre Lakatos earned a worldwide reputation through the influential philosophy of science debates involving Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, and Sir Karl Popper. In _Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason_ John Kadvany shows that embedded in Lakatos’s English-language work is a remarkable historical philosophy rooted in his Hungarian past. Below the surface of his life as an Anglo-American philosopher of science and mathematics, Lakatos covertly introduced novel transformations of Hegelian and Marxist ideas about (...) historiography, skepticism, criticism, and rationality. Lakatos escaped Hungary following the failed 1956 Revolution. Before then, he had been an influential Communist intellectual and was imprisoned for years by the Stalinist regime. He also wrote a lost doctoral thesis in the philosophy of science and participated in what was criminal behavior in all but a legal sense. Kadvany argues that this intellectual and political past animates Lakatos’s English-language philosophy, and that, whether intended or not, Lakatos integrated a penetrating vision of Hegelian ideas with rigorous analysis of mathematical proofs and controversial histories of science. Including new applications of Lakatos’s ideas to the histories of mathematical logic and economics and providing lucid exegesis of many of Hegel’s basic ideas, _Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason_ is an exciting reconstruction of ideas and episodes from the history of philosophy, science, mathematics, and modern political history. (shrink)
Imre Lakatos' conception of the history of science is explicated with the purpose of replying to criticism leveled against it by Thomas Kuhn, Ian Hacking, and others. Kuhn's primary argument is that the historian's internal—external distinction is methodologically superior to Lakatos' because it is "independent" of an analysis of rationality. That distinction, however, appears to be a normative one, harboring an implicit and unarticulated appeal to rationality, despite Kuhn's claims to the contrary. Lakatos' history, by contrast, is (...) clearly the history of a normatively defined discipline; of science and not scientists and their activities. How such history can be written, the historiographic and critical tools available for its construction, and its importance as history, are considered in detail. In an afterword, the prevalence of Lakatos' treatment of history in philosophical discussion is indicated: A related approach is shown to arise in social contract theory. (shrink)
In this paper I explore possibilities of bringing post-positivist philosophies of empirical science to bear on the dynamics of mathematical development. This is done by way of a convergent accommodation of a mathematical version of Lakatos's methodology of research programmes, and a version of Kuhn's account of scientific change that is made applicable to mathematics by cleansing it of all references to the psychology of perception. The resulting view is argued in the light of two case histories of radical (...) conceptual innovations. (shrink)
How happy it is to recall Imre Lakatos. Now, fifteen years after his death, his intelligence, wit, generosity are vivid. In the Preface to the book of Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos, the editors wrote:... Lakatos was a man in search of rationality in all of its forms. He thought he had found it in the historical development of scientific knowledge, yet he also saw rationality endangered everywhere. To honor Lakatos is to honor his sharp (...) and aggressive criticism as well as his humane warmth and his quick wit. He was a person to love and to struggle with. The book before us carries old and new friends of that Lakatosian spirit further into the issues which he wanted to investigate. That the new friends include a dozen scientific, historical and philosophical scholars from Greece would have pleased Lakatos very much, and with an essay from China, he would have smiled all the more. But the key lies in the quality of these papers, and in the imaginative organization of the conference at Thessaloniki in summer 1986 which worked so well. (shrink)
This paper elaborates a new solution to the lottery paradox, according to which the paradox arises only when we lump together two distinct states of being confident that p under one general label of ‘belief that p’. The two-state conjecture is defended on the basis of some recent work on gradable adjectives. The conjecture is supported by independent considerations from the impossibility of constructing the lottery paradox both for risk-tolerating states such as being afraid, hoping or hypothesizing, and for risk-averse, (...) certainty-like states. The new proposal is compared to views within the increasingly popular debate opposing dualists to reductionists with respect to the relation between belief and degrees of belief. (shrink)
In this book, which is both a philosophical and historiographical study, the author investigates the fallibility and the rationality of mathematics by means of rational reconstructions of developments in mathematics. The initial chapters are devoted to a critical discussion of Lakatos' philosophy of mathematics. In the remaining chapters several episodes in the history of mathematics are discussed, such as the appearance of deduction in Greek mathematics and the transition from Eighteenth-Century to Nineteenth-Century analysis. The author aims at developing a (...) notion of mathematical rationality that agrees with the historical facts. A modified version of Lakatos' methodology is proposed. The resulting constructions show that mathematical knowledge is fallible, but that its fallibility is remarkably weak. (shrink)
This paper discusses the connection between the actual history of mathematics and Lakatos's philosophy of mathematics, in three parts. The first points to studies by Lakatos and others which support his conception of mathematics and its history. In the second I suggest that the apparent poverty of Lakatosian examples may be due to the way in which the history of mathematics is usually written. The third part argues that Lakatos is right to hold philosophy accountable to history, (...) even if Lakatos's own view of mathematics fails that test. (shrink)
Imre Lakatos' philosophical and scientific papers are published here in two volumes. Volume I brings together his very influential but scattered papers on the philosophy of the physical sciences, and includes one important unpublished essay on the effect of Newton's scientific achievement. Volume 2 presents his work on the philosophy of mathematics (much of it unpublished), together with some critical essays on contemporary philosophers of science and some famous polemical writings on political and educational issues.
In this article I focus on some unduly neglected common-sense considerations supporting the view that one's evidence is the propositions that one knows. I reply to two recent objections to these considerations.
Imre Lakatos gained fame in the English-speaking world as a follower and critic of philosopher of science Karl Popper. However, Lakatos’ background involved other philosophical and scientific sources from his native Hungary. Lakatos surreptitiously used Hegelian Marxism in his works on philosophy of science and mathematics, disguising it with the rhetoric of the Popper school. He also less surreptitiously incorporated, particularly in his treatment of mathematics, work of the strong tradition of heuristics in twentieth century Hungary. Both (...) his Marxism and his emphasis on heuristics contained a view of science and mathematics that contrasted with the mainstream of Anglo-American philosophy of science. Both involved a dynamic view of science, whether historical or psychological, and an emphasis on practice as opposed to static, formal representations of scientific theories. (shrink)
According to the good reasoning view of normative reasons, p is a reason to F, just in case p is a premise of a good pattern of reasoning. This article presents two counterexamples to the most promising version of the good reasoning view.
In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism (AOE), a conception of natural science that I have defended at some length elsewhere, is a kind of synthesis of the views of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos, but is also an improvement over the views of all three. Whereas Popper's falsificationism protects metaphysical assumptions implicitly made by science from criticism, AOE exposes all such assumptions to sustained criticism, and furthermore focuses criticism on those assumptions most likely to need revision if science (...) is to make progress. Even though AOE is, in this way, more Popperian than Popper, it is also, in some respects, more like the views of Kuhn and Lakatos than falsificationism is. AOE is able, however, to solve problems which Kuhn's and Lakatos's views cannot solve. [Back to Top]. (shrink)
Resumen Un diagnóstico más que difundido acerca de la obra de Lakatos señala que su proyecto soslayó por completo la cuestión de la verdad como parte central del análisis del conocimiento científico. En una línea semejante, Hacking afirma que Lakatos encontró en la metodología un sustituto para la verdad. Incluso quienes descreen de estas interpretaciones acuerdan respecto de que Lakatos falla en dar cuenta de la relación entre el desarrollo del conocimiento y el aumento de la verosimilitud. (...) En el presente trabajo argumento que el problema de la verdad es central al proyecto filosófico de Lakatos, y es posible construir una interpretación alternativa en la que su proyecto de establecer un vínculo entre método y verdad pueda tenerse como exitoso. Propongo una lectura davidsoniana que adjudica a Lakatos un realismo epistémico.A widespread interpretation of Lakatos’ work says his project completely sidestepped the question of truth as a central part of the analysis of scientific knowledge. In a similar vein, Hacking states that Lakatos found in methodology a substitute for truth. Even those who are skeptical of these interpretations agree that Lakatos failed to give an account of the relation between the growth of knowledge and increasing verisimilitude. In this paper I maintain that the problem of truth is central to Lakatos’ philosophical project, and it is possible to develop an alternative interpretation in which his project to establish a link between method and truth can be seen as successful. I put forward a Davidsonian interpretation that ascribes to Lakatos an epistemic realism. (shrink)
According to the knowledge view of evidence notoriously defended by Timothy Williamson (2000), for any subject, her evidence consists of all and only her propositional knowledge (E=K). Many have found (E=K) implausible. However, few have offered arguments against Williamson’s positive case for (E=K). In this paper, I propose an argument against Williamson’s positive case in favour of (E=K). Central to my argument is the possibility of the knowledge of necessary truths. I also draw some more general conclusions concerning theorizing about (...) evidence. (shrink)
The aim of the present article is to accomplish two things. The first is to show that given some further plausible assumptions, existing challenges to the indispensability of knowledge in causal explanation of action fail. The second is to elaborate an overlooked and distinct argument in favor of the causal efficacy of knowledge. In short, even if knowledge were dispensable in causal explanation of action, it is still indispensable in causal explanation of other mental attitudes and, in particular, some reactive (...) attitudes and factive emotions. Taking into account this sort of causal efficacy in determining which mental states are genuine mental states opens up new perspectives for defending the view that knowledge is the most general factive and genuine mental state. (shrink)
Peter Achinstein has argued at length and on many occasions that the view according to which evidential support is defined in terms of probability-raising faces serious counterexamples and, hence, should be abandoned. Proponents of the positive probabilistic relevance view have remained unconvinced. The debate seems to be in a deadlock. This paper is an attempt to move the debate forward and revisit some of the central claims within this debate. My conclusion here will be that while Achinstein may be right (...) that his counterexamples undermine probabilistic relevance views of what it is for e to be evidence that h, there is still room for a defence of a related probabilistic view about an increase in being supported, according to which, if p > p, then h is more supported given e than it is without e. My argument relies crucially on an insight from recent work on the linguistics of gradable adjectives. (shrink)
Lakatos's methodology, if analysed as belonging to the demarcationist-rationalist program launched by Popper gives some interesting conclusions concerning the feasibility of the project: (1) Rationalism cannot provide arguments against relativism. (2) A theory of scientific rationality cannot be defended without relying on scientific authorities. (3) A historical justification of scientific rationality does not show that the procedures that are rational according to the theory are truth-conducive.
The aim of this paper is to show that it is the explicativecharacter of Tarski's semantic definition of truth given in his study of 1933 that allows forconsideration of a philosophical background of this definition in the proper sense. Given the explicativecharacter of this definition it is argued that the philosophical tradition that should be taken intoaccount with regard to this philosophical background is the tradition of the Lvov-Warsaw Schoolin its connections with the School of Brentano. As an example of (...) the explanatory power ofconsidering this tradition as far as Tarski's philosophical choices are concerned I use here thenotion of sentence-inscription, i.e., the notion of that entity of which truth is predicated inthe definition in question. One of the consequences of these statements is that philosophicaldiscussions concerning the semantic definition of truth can be regarded from two points ofview. On the one hand, they may take the perspective of its explicational function, i.e., theperspective of its philosophical background. On the other hand, they might consider the philosophicalconsequences of the definition with respect to the goal of the explication, i.e., they may considerits philosophical content independently of its historical background. (shrink)