The Omniscienter: Beauty and scientific understanding

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Abstract

Science has more to offer than just knowledge of nature; it can give us understanding of nature as well. Epistemology of science is usually focused on knowledge and the criteria of justification, while paying little attention to understanding. In a reversal of this emphasis, this article is more about scientific understanding. I argue that the hallmarks of understanding are similar to an aesthetic feature associated with literature, music, and the visual arts. It is the feature described as coherence, harmony, and inevitability of fit. Aesthetics thus plays an epistemic role in science as an indication of understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science

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