2019 Lakatos Award Lecture with Henk W. de Regt

It is widely acknowledged that a central aim of science is to achieve understanding of the world around us, and that possessing such understanding is highly important in our present-day society. But what precisely is scientific understanding, and when is it achieved?

In his Lakatos Award winning book Understanding Scientific Understanding (OUP, 2017), Professor Henk W. de Regt develops a philosophical theory of scientific understanding that answers these questions. In contrast to most existing studies in this area, de Regt’s approach takes into account scientists’ views on understanding and their role in scientific debate and development. In this lecture, Professor de Regt will outline his theory of scientific understanding and illustrate it with examples from the history of physics.

Henk W. de Regt is Professor of Philosophy of Natural Sciences, Institute for Science in Society, Radboud University Nijmegen.

The Lakatos Award is given for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science, widely interpreted, in the form of a book published in English during the previous five years. Further information is available on the Lakatos Award web page.