Presenter: Milena Ivanova (Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig Maximillian Universität)

In this paper I explore the epistemic justification of aesthetic values in scientific practise. It is well documented that scientists use aesthetic values in the evaluation and choice of theories they employ. Aesthetic values are not only regarded as leading to practically more convenient theories, but are very often taken to stand in a special epistemic relation to the truth of a theory. That is, the aesthetic properties of a theory are regarded as intrinsically linked to the theory’s truthlikeness, justifying our belief that a beautiful theory is a true one. I examine the empirical justification for this link and its challenges. I explore an alternative link which could overcome the noted difficulties and captures better scientific practise.