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Research Program = Theory 1, Theory 2, . . .




New theory:
(1) is consistent with all of the known facts;
(2) predicts new facts.
New theory is generated only after some novel observation, not before.


Predictions of new facts turn out to be right (psychologically encouraging 'verifications').Predictions of new facts fail to be confirmed.

"One may rationally stick to a degenerating research programme until it is overtaken by a rival and even after. What one must not do is to deny its poor public record.... It is perfectly rational to play a risky game: what is irrational is to deceive oneself about the risk" (Lakatos, 1971, p. 104).


Lakatos, I. (1971). History of science and its rational reconstruction. In R. C. Buck & R. S. Cohen (Eds.), PSA. Reidel.

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