Analysis Of Imre Lakatos 's Concept Of Research Programme And The Protective Belt

904 Words May 5th, 2016 4 Pages
Imre Lakatos was a 20th century philosopher of mathematics and science, who introduced the concepts of research programme and the protective belt. It is evident that Lakatos’ ideas stem from two other philosophers of science discussed in class. The first being Karl Popper, and his concept of falsificationism. Popper suggested theories cannot be proven, but, rather, falsified. After putting a theory under experimentation, if you observe results that conflict with the claim or hypothesis, then the theory as a whole gets discarded. The other philosopher is Thomas Kuhn, who is known for his idea of paradigm shifts. He said that after long spans of normal science and experimentation in a given period of time, there will then be a sudden change in a way of thinking, which leads to a paradigm shift, and progress in science.
Lakatos’ idea lies in the middle. He said that a theory progresses over time, and every succession a scientist makes in the field of a specific theory, gets added to its hardcore. Lakatos calls this the research programme; in other words, it is a chain of experimentation and progress in a specific scientific realm. All of the scientists working in the same research programme form a protective belt around the core. The purpose of this protective belt is to allow for experimentation and research to be done, without destroying the hardcore when a hypothesis is falsified, unlike falsificationism. When I think of the hard core and protective belt, I see the hardcore…
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