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The Value of Beauty in Theory Pursuit: Kuhn, Duhem, and Decision Theory

Morgan, Gregory J. (2013) The Value of Beauty in Theory Pursuit: Kuhn, Duhem, and Decision Theory. Open Journal of Philosophy, 03 (01). pp. 9-14. ISSN 2163-9434

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Abstract

Should judgments of beauty play a guiding role in theoretical science even if beauty is not a sign of truth? In this paper I argue that they should in certain cases. If we analyze the rationality of theoretical pursuit using decision theory, a theory’s beauty can influence the utilities of the various options confronting the researcher. After considering the views of Pierre Duhem and Thomas Kuhn on aesthetics in science, I suggest that because we value freedom of inquiry we rightly allow scientists some choice in how they value aesthetic properties of theories and thus some freedom to use beauty to guide their research program.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Morgan, Gregory J.
Keywords: Beauty; Aesthetics in Science; Decision Theory; Pierre Duhem; Thomas Kuhn; Logic of Pursuit; Aesthetic Value; Freedom of Inquiry; Values in Science
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr Gregory J Morgan
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2022 13:04
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 13:04
Item ID: 20770
Journal or Publication Title: Open Journal of Philosophy
Official URL: http://doi.org/10.4236/ojpp.2013.31003
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.31003
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2013
Page Range: pp. 9-14
Volume: 03
Number: 01
ISSN: 2163-9434
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20770

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