Lakatos’s Research Program and the thought of the Islamic Republic

  •  Ali Alihosseini    
  •  Hamidreza Keshavarz    


In the volatile history of science, we come across a series of theories and methods, each of which has emerged and has been used at some point and has been replaced later by another method. These multiple methods and theories have each caused science and scientific knowledge to advance one step forward. One of these theories is Imre Lakatos’s research program which, though a theory often considered in the analysis of the trends of the empirical sciences, given the general principles and the dominant spirit of this theory, it can be also used to study other intellectual currents. Lakatos believes that any theory is a research program that is composed of two parts: a hard core and a protective belt. The hard core is the basis and foundation of every thought and theory .To protect the main theory and to protect it against changes, there exist the protective belts that are somehow a supplement to the core of the theory .According to Lakatos, the progressive or retrogressive nature of a research program depends on the ability and acceptability of the auxiliary hypotheses which serve to protect the hard core. Thus, a research program can be progressive and dynamic if it causes new theories which bring about new predictions by modifying the protective belt. This article has considered the notion of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a research program. In this regard, this study is an attempt to determine the functions of ‘expediency’ in the Islamic Republic using an impression of the concept of ‘expediency’ which is similar to the protective belt by considering Islam as a hard core and as a resistant framework. This article is also an attempt to emphasize the point that, in the Islamic Republic, the concept of ‘expediency’ has the same function which is noted as the protective belt in Lakatos’s view. Therefore, using the notion of ‘interest’ by the advocates of the hard core is an attempt made to prevent the rejection of the hard core and pave the way for the development and change in Islam as an efficient religion.

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