ABSTRACT

Before considering this it will prove instructive, as with Popper, to refer to some biographical details about Lakatos' life as they clearly affected his methodological outlook. He was born in Hungary where he eventually became an active member of the resistance movement against the Nazi occupation of that country. Being Jewish he changed his name twice, eventually opting for Lakatos (,locksmith'). His mother and grandmother perished in Auschwitz. After the war Lakatos, who was by then a Communist, became in 1947 an official in the Hungarian Ministry of Education. However, his independent way of thinking led him to be considered a 'revisionist' and this resulted in his spending three years, from 1950-53 in prison. During the Hungarian uprising of 1956 he was warned of his imminent re-arrest and this prompted him to flee to the West, initially to Cambridge, where he worked on his doctorate in mathematics, his original interest. In 1960 he moved to the London School of Economics, where he became a lecturer, and his interest in philosophy of science and methodology was re-awakened by the contact he had there with Popper (see Worrall, 1976, for other details of Lakatos' life).