Symmetry arguments in physics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Physicists often appeal to the beauty of a theory as a way to judge its credibility, and the most prevalent component of this beauty is symmetry. This paper describes the role and structure of symmetry arguments in physics. It demonstrates that the epistemic authority of an appeal to symmetry is based on empirical evidence and is independent of any aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, symmetry in nature is not evidence of design. Just the opposite, symmetry indicates a lack of planning. It is about nature's disregard for details.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-492
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Volume30
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999

Fingerprint

Symmetry
Physics
Nature
Planning
Epistemic Authority
Disregard
Empirical Evidence
Physicists
Aesthetic Judgment
Credibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History

Cite this

Symmetry arguments in physics. / Kosso, Peter.

In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Vol. 30, No. 3, 09.1999, p. 479-492.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ed8e2d3440134a1e936ee78cafd928f1,
title = "Symmetry arguments in physics",
abstract = "Physicists often appeal to the beauty of a theory as a way to judge its credibility, and the most prevalent component of this beauty is symmetry. This paper describes the role and structure of symmetry arguments in physics. It demonstrates that the epistemic authority of an appeal to symmetry is based on empirical evidence and is independent of any aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, symmetry in nature is not evidence of design. Just the opposite, symmetry indicates a lack of planning. It is about nature's disregard for details.",
author = "Peter Kosso",
year = "1999",
month = "9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "30",
pages = "479--492",
journal = "Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A",
issn = "0039-3681",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Symmetry arguments in physics

AU - Kosso, Peter

PY - 1999/9

Y1 - 1999/9

N2 - Physicists often appeal to the beauty of a theory as a way to judge its credibility, and the most prevalent component of this beauty is symmetry. This paper describes the role and structure of symmetry arguments in physics. It demonstrates that the epistemic authority of an appeal to symmetry is based on empirical evidence and is independent of any aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, symmetry in nature is not evidence of design. Just the opposite, symmetry indicates a lack of planning. It is about nature's disregard for details.

AB - Physicists often appeal to the beauty of a theory as a way to judge its credibility, and the most prevalent component of this beauty is symmetry. This paper describes the role and structure of symmetry arguments in physics. It demonstrates that the epistemic authority of an appeal to symmetry is based on empirical evidence and is independent of any aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, symmetry in nature is not evidence of design. Just the opposite, symmetry indicates a lack of planning. It is about nature's disregard for details.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0033192338&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0033192338&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 30

SP - 479

EP - 492

JO - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A

JF - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A

SN - 0039-3681

IS - 3

ER -