Lakatos (1970)

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Lakatos, Imre. (1970) Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. In Lakatos (1978a), 8-101.

Title Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes
Resource Type collection article
Author(s) Imre Lakatos
Year 1970
Collection Lakatos (1978a)
Pages 8-101


For centuries knowledge meant proven knowledge - proven either by the power of the intellect or by the evidence of the senses. Wisdom and intellectual integrity demanded that one must desist from unproven utterances and minimize, even in thought, the gap between speculation and established knowledge. The proving power of the intellect or the senses was questioned by the sceptics more than two thousand years ago; but they were browbeaten into confusion by the glory of Newtonian physics. Einstein’s results again turned the tables and now very few philosophers or scientists still think that scientific knowledge is, or can be, proven knowledge. But few realize that with this the whole classical structure of intellectual values falls in ruins and has to be replaced: one cannot simply water down the ideal of proven truth - as some logical empiricists do - to the ideal of probable truth or - as some sociologists of knowledge do - to truth by (changing) consensus.