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On Progressive and Degenerating Research Programs With Respect to Philosophy

On Progressive and Degenerating Research Programs With Respect to Philosophy

Graham Harman, “On Progressive and Degenerating Research Programs With Respect to Philosophy,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 75, no. 4 (2019): 2067–2102,

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  • On Progressive and Degenerating Research Programs With Respect to Philosophy

    Type Journal Article
    Author Graham Harman
    Rights © 2019 Aletheia - Associação Científica e Cultural | © 2019 Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
    Volume 75
    Issue 4
    Pages 2067-2102
    Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
    ISSN 0870-5231
    Date 2019
    Language English
    Abstract The Hungarian-born philosopher of science Imre Lakatos introduces the methodology of scientific research programs, and also makes a famous distinction between “progressive” and “degenerating” programs. Although Lakatos does not give extensive guidance as to whether philosophical rather than scientific theories could also be judged in this way, he does give some intriguing hints in his discussion of a debate on induction between Rudolf Carnap and Karl Popper. After considering two extant but misguided attempts to use “degenerating” as a polemical term in philosophy, this article gathers the aforementioned hints from Lakatos and a few others from Alfred North Whitehead in an effort to identify what a “progressive philosophy” might look like.
    Short Title RPF
    Date Added 1/28/2020, 4:32:32 PM
    Modified 1/28/2020, 5:16:37 PM


    • Alfred North Whitehead,
    • degenerating,
    • Imre Lakatos,
    • Karl Popper,
    • progressive
    • research program,
    • Rudolf Carnap,


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