Unmasking the truth beneath the beauty: Why the supposed aesthetic judgements made in science may not be aesthetic at all

Abstract
In this article I examine the status of putative aesthetic judgements in science and mathematics. I argue that if the judgements at issue are taken to be genuinely aesthetic they can be divided into two types, positing either a disjunction or connection between aesthetic and epistemic criteria in theory/proof assessment. I show that both types of claim face serious difficulties in explaining the purported role of aesthetic judgements in these areas. I claim that the best current explanation of this role, McAllister's 'aesthetic induction' model, fails to demonstrate that the judgements at issue are genuinely aesthetic. I argue that, in light of these considerations, there are strong reasons for suspecting that many, and perhaps all, of the supposedly aesthetic claims are not genuinely aesthetic but are in fact 'masked' epistemic assessments.
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DOI 10.1080/02698590802280910
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References found in this work BETA

Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Beauty & Revolution in Science.James W. McAllister - 1996 - Cornell University Press.
The Metaphysics of Beauty.Nick Zangwill - 2001 - Cornell University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Aesthetic Values in Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433.
Mathematical Beauty, Understanding, and Discovery.Carlo Cellucci - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (4):339-355.
Aesthetics in Science: A Kantian Proposal.Angela Breitenbach - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (1pt1):83-100.
The Beautiful Art of Mathematics†.Adam Rieger - 2018 - Philosophia Mathematica 26 (2):234-250.

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Relativism, Standards and Aesthetic Judgements.James O. Young - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):221 – 231.

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