Lakatos on the Methodology of Scientific Research Programs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Tradition opposed all assessment of research programs except to say that if they do not rest on science they are prejudices. A significant recent tradition of assessing research projects and programs developed nonetheless. It should be examined, explained (as heuristic), and hopefully improved. Instead, some philosophers make do with what Imre Lakatos presented as his Methodology of Scientific Research Programs. Before that Popper refrained from discussing heuristic, Polanyi left it to the intuitions of scientific leaders and to experts. Kuhn added that they produce paradigms to emulate. Lakatos assumed that researches follow series of theories that they improve as one bunch whose core is more-or-less a Kuhn-style paradigm. If the research program degenerates into decreasingly significant problems, then the core idea behind it is on its way to being rejected. It is rejected when a better alternative to it appears. He claimed that this idea provides a new rational reconstruction of the history of science. This has raised much objection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringerBriefs in Philosophy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in Philosophy
ISSN (Print)2211-4548
ISSN (Electronic)2211-4556


  • Intellectual Framework
  • Metaphysical Theory
  • Rational Reconstruction
  • Scientific Research Program
  • Scientific Theory


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