Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12730 (2021)

Authors
Milena Ivanova
Cambridge University
Abstract
This article explores the aesthetic dimensions of scientific experimentation, addressing specifically how aesthetic features enter the construction, evaluation and reception of an experiment. I highlight the relationship between experiments and artistic acts in the early years of the Royal Society where experiments do not serve only epistemic aims but also aim to generate feelings of awe and pleasure. I turn to analysing which aspects of experiments are appreciated aesthetically, identifying several contenders, from the ability of an experiment to uncover nature’s beauty, to encapsulating original designs and human creativity. Following this analysis, I focus on the notion of beauty: what makes an experiment beautiful? Several common qualities are explored, from the simplicity and economy of the experiment, to the significance of the experimental results.
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12730
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References found in this work BETA

The Role of the Priority Rule in Science.Michael Strevens - 2003 - Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):55-79.
Experiments Versus Models: New Phenomena, Inference and Surprise.Mary S. Morgan - 2005 - Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):317-329.
Experiments, Simulations, and Epistemic Privilege.Emily C. Parke - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):516-536.
Fiction as Thought Experiment.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (2):221-241.
Aesthetic Values in Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433.

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