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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleLakatos; Imre (1922-1974); logician
Extent77 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryImre Lakatos, 1922-1974, was born in Hungary with the family name of Lipsitz. He attended Debrecen University and graduated in mathematics, physics and philosophy in 1944. During the Nazi occupation of Hungary, he changed his name to Molnar and joined the underground resistance. During the second world war he became a committed communist and after the war changed his name again, this time to Lakatos. In 1947, he was made a secretary in the Ministry of Education and became involved in the reform of higher education in Hungary. In 1948, he wrote a doctoral thesis on concept formation in science, receiving his degree from Debrecen University. However his political prominence and "revisionist" tendencies meant that he fell foul of the campaign against the "Hungarian Titoists". He was arrested in 1950 and spent the next three years in jail. He was released in 1953, and in 1954 Alfred Renyi obtained a post for him in the Mathematical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Science. His job was to translate important mathematical works into Hungarian, including work by George Polya.

After the Hungarian uprising in 1956, Lakatos was informed of the likelihood of his re-arrest and so fled to Vienna. Whilst there he was awarded a three year Rockefeller fellowship and went to Kings College, Cambridge, to study under Richard Braithwaite. In 1958 he met George Polya, who advised him to prepare a case study of the "Descartes-Euler conjecture" for his doctorate. This later grew into his book "Proofs and Refutations". He joined Professor Popper's department at the LSE in 1960 and rose rapidly to become Professor of Logic in 1969. He became increasingly interested in methodology and in 1965 he organised the International Colloquium on the Philosophy of Science. He also edited the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
DescriptionPapers and notes by Professor Lakatos on the philosophy of mathematics and science, including notes on Feyerabend, Kuhn and Popper; correspondence with many academics and philosophers; papers relating to the International Colloquium on the Philosophy of Science organised by Lakatos in 1965; and biographical material, desk diaries, press cuttings, and papers relating to student politics and the LSE 'troubles'.
Publication Note'Philosophical Papers', edited by John Worrall and Gregory Currie, 2 volumes, Cambridge University Press, 1978.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsPersonal correspondence was initially closed but now forms Section 13 of the handlist.
Copyright TypeCopyright is held by the depositor
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