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The Popperian Podcast

Mar 26, 2023

This episode of the Popperian Podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Donald Gillies. They speak about Donald’s time at the London School of Economics, his personal and professional experiences with Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend, the importance of an historical approach to philosophy, specifically how we should understand truth in medicine, and the history of medical discovery.

In 1966 Donald Gillies became a graduate student in Karl Popper’s department at LSE, doing a PhD with Imre Lakatos. Since then he has carried out research in the philosophy of science and mathematics broadly in the tradition of Popper, Lakatos and Kuhn, while being strongly influenced by Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein. He focussed much of his research on the philosophy of probability, which, with the invention of Bayesian nets etc, extended into causality. And then went on to work on the philosophy of AI, the philosophy of medicine, and in the application of history and philosophy of science to questions of research assessment and organisation. He is currently retired as Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Science and Mathematics at University College London.

*** Donald Gillies’ full biography and academic work can be found at: Donald A. Gillies – Personal Website (

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*** Underlying artwork by Arturo Espinosa