Scientists’ Aesthetic Preferences Among Theories: Conservative Factors in Revolutionary Crises

  • James W. McAllister
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 182)


Scientists choose among alternative available theories in part on empirical considerations, but in part also on aesthetic considerations. That is, their choices to adopt one theory in preference to another are determined partly by the degree to which they regard the theories in question as “beautiful”, “elegant”, or “aesthetically attractive”. This paper is a contribution to the study of the aesthetic considerations to which scientists appeal in theory-choice, and of their role especially in revolutionary times.


Scientific Revolution Aesthetic Property Empirical Performance Aesthetic Preference Aesthetic Feature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. McAllister
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of LeidenThe Netherlands

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