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Lakatos between Marxism and the Hungarian heuristic tradition

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The difference in number depends on who is considered truly Hungarian. The Kingdom of Hungary was much larger than present-day Hungary and included several ethnic groups, many members of which did not consider themselves of Hungarian nationality. One, at least, identified himself as Austrian.

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Correspondence to Val Dusek.

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Dusek, V. Lakatos between Marxism and the Hungarian heuristic tradition. Stud East Eur Thought 67, 61–73 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11212-015-9229-2

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Keywords

  • Heuristic
  • Hungary
  • Imre Lakatos
  • György Lukács
  • Marxism