Aesthetic Values in Science

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Ivanova, Milena
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preprint description
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 be indicators of the truth of a theory. 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.