Poincaré’s aesthetics of science

Synthese 194 (7):2581-2594 (2017)

Abstract

This paper offers a systematic analysis of Poincaré’s understanding of beauty in science. In particular, the paper examines the epistemic significance Poincaré attributes to aesthetic judgement by reconstructing and analysing his arguments on simplicity and unity in science. I offer a consistent reconstruction of Poincaré’s account and show that for Poincaré simplicity and unity are regulative principles, linked to the aim of science—that of achieving understanding of how phenomena relate. I show how Poincaré’s account of beauty in science can be incorporated within his wider philosophy of science.

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Milena Ivanova
Cambridge University

References found in this work

What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Reconsidering Logical Positivism.Michael Friedman - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
Reconsidering Logical Positivism.Michael Friedman & Alan W. Richardson - 1999 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 62 (1):152-155.
Pierre Duhem’s Good Sense as a Guide to Theory Choice.Milena Ivanova - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):58-64.

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Citations of this work

Metaphors in Arts and Science.Walter Veit & Ney Milan - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-24.
Aesthetic Values in Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433.
Theory (In-)Equivalence and Conventionalism in F(R) Gravity.Patrick M. Duerr - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:10-29.
What is a Beautiful Experiment?Milena Ivanova - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.

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