`Nature is the Realisation of the Simplest Conceivable Mathematical Ideas': Einstein and the Canon of Mathematical Simplicity

Abstract
Einstein proclaimed that we could discover true laws of nature by seeking those with the simplest mathematical formulation. He came to this viewpoint later in his life. In his early years and work he was quite hostile to this idea. Einstein did not develop his later Platonism from a priori reasoning or aesthetic considerations. He learned the canon of mathematical simplicity from his own experiences in the discovery of new theories, most importantly, his discovery of general relativity. Through his neglect of the canon, he realised that he delayed the completion of general relativity by three years and nearly lost priority in discovery of its gravitational field equations.
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DOI 10.1016/S1355-2198(99)00035-0
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References found in this work BETA
John Norton (1985). What Was Einstein's Principle of Equivalence? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):203-246.

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Citations of this work BETA
Christopher A. Martin (2002). Gauge Principles, Gauge Arguments and the Logic of Nature. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S221-S234.
Helge Kragh (2014). Testability and Epistemic Shifts in Modern Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (1):48-56.

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