Re: The Art of Physics

A brief comment on my earlier post:

When I say that choices made in constructing theories and interpretations are based on aesthetics, what I mean is that scientists often insist on certain constraints which are justifiable only in themselves. That is to say that theories are developed from constraints which often cannot be proved necessary, but are grounded in fundamental beliefs of how the world should be. To take one example, we often require theories to have no preferred direction in space. This requirement is based on the belief that the universe should be symmetric in all directions. There is nothing that says that the only conceivable world has to be this way, so in a crude sense this is a matter of "taste". But, this taste is not individual, it is shared by many in the scientific community. Consequently, the aesthetics of scientific theory is a rather complicated issue.

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