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Long recognised as having an importance belied by the comparatively small number of works he produced, The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes was the contribution of Imre Lakatos to problems of theory change and demarcation criteria considered by Kuhn, Feyerabend and others. A veritable masterpiece of historical scholarship and philosophical theory, he suggested that theories should not be considered via dichotomies like confirmed or refuted, scientific or non-scientific, but instead as part of research programmes that could be thought of as degenerating or advancing as a whole. In this way, he hoped to account for the history of theories like atomism that had been proposed and rejected repeatedly over time.

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