John Worrall (Wagner Fellow)
London School of Economics, UK
Academic Year 1982-83, Visiting Fellow
Spring Term 2011, Wagner Fellow
Philosophy of Risk
John Worrall was educated at the London School of Economics, from where he obtained his PhD (under the supervision of Imre Lakatos) in the early 70s. He has made his career at LSE and has for some years been Professor of Philosophy of Science there. He spent a wonderful year as a Fellow at the Pittsburgh Center in 1982-3 and has also held a visiting professorship at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
His main work has been in general philosophy of science: evidence, theory-change and scientific realism. And he is currently completing a book that brings together and develops all that earlier work: Reason in “Revolution”: A Study of Theory-Change in Science (OUP, 2012). More recently he has been researching into issues in the methodology of medicine: in particular ‘Evidence-Based Medicine’ and the alleged epistemic virtues of Randomized Controlled Trials.
Having for decades played the Cricket of Pure Reason for the LSE Staff XI (and also various North London Clubs), his chief role at LSE now is as leader of, and guitarist in, the Departmental Rock n’ Roll Band: The Critique of Pure Rhythm (band name not his idea!).
He edited (with Elie Zahar) Lakatos’s (posthumous) Proofs and Refutations (CUP, 1976) and (with Gregory Currie) the two volumes of Lakatos’s Collected Works (CUP, 1978). He was Editor of The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science from 1974 to 1983; and is the author of numerous articles on philosophy of science and on methodology of medicine.