Fitting Feelings and Elegant Proofs: On the Psychology of Aesthetic Evaluation in Mathematics

Philosophia Mathematica:nkx007 (2017)
ABSTRACT This paper explores the role of aesthetic judgements in mathematics by focussing on the relationship between the epistemic and aesthetic criteria employed in such judgements, and on the nature of the psychological experiences underpinning them. I claim that aesthetic judgements in mathematics are plausibly understood as expressions of what I will call ‘aesthetic-epistemic feelings’ that serve a genuine cognitive and epistemic function. I will then propose a naturalistic account of these feelings in terms of sub-personal processes of representing and assessing the relation between cognitive processes and certain properties of the stimuli at which they are directed.
Keywords Mathematics  Beauty  Aesthetics  Fluency
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/philmat/nkx007
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Relativism, Standards and Aesthetic Judgements.James O. Young - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):221 – 231.
The Semantics of Aesthetic Judgements.James O. Young (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press UK.
The Limits of Aesthetic Empiricism.Fabian Dorsch - 2014 - In Gregory Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson (eds.), Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 75-100.
Music Feels Like Moods Feel.Kris Goffin - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5:327.
The Concept of the Aesthetic.Nick Zangwill - 1998 - European Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):78–93.
Towards a Reasonable Objectivism for Aesthetic Judgements.Elisabeth Schellekens - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2):163-177.
Aesthetic Essays.Malcolm Budd - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
The Beautiful Art of Mathematics†.Adam Rieger - 2018 - Philosophia Mathematica 26 (2):234-250.
Knowledge of God.Constance I. Smith - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):56 - 57.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
179 ( #33,296 of 2,301,535 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
153 ( #1,872 of 2,301,535 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature