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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A|
|State||Published - Sep 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- History and Philosophy of Science