Imre Lakatos

(1922—1974) philosopher of mathematics and of science

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Hungarian philosopher of mathematics. Lakatos fled Hungary after the Soviet invasion in 1956, studied at Cambridge, and submitted his doctoral thesis in 1961. In 1960 Lakatos was appointed to the London School of Economics and he taught there for 14 years until his death. He published his most brilliant and influential work, Proofs and Refutations, in 1963–4 in four parts in the British Journal for Philosophy of Science, but it only appeared as a book posthumously. He rejected the idea of mathematics as a patient accumulation of ever more complex truth, in favour of a dramatic model of proofs and refutations, akin to Karl Popper's account of the processes of science.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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