Imre Lakatos

Brendan Philip Larvor, Colin Jakob Rittberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Imre Lakatos (1922–1974) was a philosopher of mathematics and science. Having left Hungary in 1956, he made his first appearance on the international stage with a series of four papers during 1963 and 1964 in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, later published together posthumously in Proofs and Refutations (1976), in which he discusses the formation of mathematical concepts by proof-analysis. This radical break with classical approaches to the philosophy of mathematics attracted sufficient interest that Kitcher and Aspray deem Lakatos to have started a new and “maverick” tradition in the field (“An Opinionated Introduction,” in History and Philosophy of Modern Mathematics, 1988). By 1959, Lakatos had become an assistant lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This department was still under the direction of its founder, Karl Popper, and Lakatos’s evolving and ultimately antagonistic relations with Popper and the Popperians conditioned much of his work. The chief part of this work was a series of influential papers on the philosophy of science. These are included in the two books of his work that two of his former students, John Worrall and Gregory Currie, published after his death (Lakatos 1978a and Lakatos 1978b, cited under Posthumously Published). In 1974, Lakatos died of a heart attack, leaving his projects in philosophy of science and mathematics incomplete.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOxford Bibliographies in Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Imrer Lakatos
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of mathematcis
  • Bibliography

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