Erkenntnis:1-19 (forthcoming)

Authors
Milena Ivanova
Cambridge University
Abstract
This article starts an engagement on the aesthetics of experiments and offers an account for analysing how aesthetics features in the design, evaluation and reception of experiments. I identify two dimensions of aesthetic evaluation of experiments: design and significance. When it comes to design, a number of qualities, such as simplicity, economy and aptness, are analysed and illustrated with the famous Meselson-Stahl experiment. Beautiful experiments are also regarded to make significant discoveries, but I argue against a narrow construal of experimental aims. By drawing on the plurality of goals experimenters have and diversity of aesthetic responses, I argue that experiments are aesthetically appreciated both when they discover and when they surprise with significant anomalous results.
Keywords Experiment  Aesthetic Values  Beauty  Crucial Experiments
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-021-00509-3
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Idealization and the Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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