Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433 (2017)

Milena Ivanova
Cambridge University
Scientists often use aesthetic values in the evaluation and choice of theories. Aesthetic values are not only regarded as leading to practically more useful theories but are often taken to stand in a special epistemic relation to the truth of a theory such that the aesthetic merit of a theory is evidence of its truth. This paper explores what aesthetic considerations influence scientists' reasoning, how such aesthetic values relate to the utility of a scientific theory, and how one can justify the epistemic role for such values. The paper examines ways in which the link between beauty and truth can be defended, the challenges facing such accounts, and explores alternative epistemic roles for aesthetic values in scientific practice.
Keywords Values in Science  Theory Choice  Aesthetic values  Beauty  Understanding  Realism  Truth  Scientific Method
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12433
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References found in this work BETA

The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Elements of Symbolic Logic.Hans Reichenbach - 1947 - London: Dover Publications.

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Citations of this work BETA

Mooreanism in Metaphysics From Mooreanism in Physics.Nina Emery - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Metaphors in Arts and Science.Walter Veit & Ney Milan - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-24.
What is a Beautiful Experiment?Milena Ivanova - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.

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