I became a graduate student in Sir Karl Popper’s department at LSE way back in 1966 to do a PhD with Imre Lakatos. Since then, I have carried out research in philosophy of science and mathematics broadly in the tradition of Popper, Lakatos and Kuhn, though I have also been strongly influenced by Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein, whom I studied as an undergraduate at Cambridge.  My favourite area has been philosophy of probability, which, with the invention of Bayesian nets etc, extended into causality. However, I have also worked in philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of AI, philosophy of medicine, and in the application of history and philosophy of science to questions of research assessment and organisation.

Since I have worked on a variety of topics over many years, the best way of making my work accessible seemed to me to divide it into research topics, which are listed in a section of this website.  Clicking on a particular research topic, e.g. ‘Discovery in Science Mathematics, and Medicine’ produces a brief account of my work in this area, which in this case was to do with serendipity, the relation between discovery and justification, and some related matters.  This account includes a number of relevant papers which can be downloaded.  There are four such papers in the example given, one of which is ‘[2018a] Discovering Cures in Medicine’.  I hope this arrangement will enable anyone to discover quickly if there is anything in my work which might be of interest, or relevant to one of their own research projects.

My research on many different topics has led me gradually to a general position in philosophy.  This is a form of empiricism, and a brief sketch of it is to be found in History-Based Empiricism

2018. Aged 74

One thought on “Home

  1. Hello Professor Gillies. I was a student at UCL from 2004 to 2007 and graduated with a BSc in History and Philosophy of Science. You were my tutor for my dissertation in the third and final year of my degree. I focused my research on the Germ Theory of disease and the work of John Snow. It has been wonderful to browse through your site – you have made such remarkable achievements over the years. I owe you a huge thanks for your help and support with my dissertation – I looked through it just last week and thought of you.
    I hope you are keeping well and enjoying your retirement. Take care. Ramlah Shah

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