Judgments of Beauty in Theory Evaluation
In Judgments of Beauty in Theory Evaluation, Devon Brickhouse-Bryson argues that judgments of beauty are a justified part of theory evaluation of all sorts, including both scientific theory evaluation and philosophical theory evaluation. He supports this argument with an account of beauty-inherited from Kant and Mothersill-on which the distinctive nature of judgments of beauty is that they are unprincipled, yet possible. Brickhouse-Bryson analyzes two important methods of theory evaluation-reflective equilibrium and simplicity-and argues that these methods require making judgments of beauty understood. He further argues that these methods of theory evaluation are not anomalies, but that they point to a deeper lesson about the nature of theorizing and the necessity of using judgments of beauty to evaluate systems, like theories. This book has implications for the debate in philosophy of science over judgments of beauty and also prompts a reckoning in philosophy itself over the use of judgments of beauty in philosophical theory evaluation.
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