Conference dates: 05/12/14 to 07/12/14
Venue: University of East Anglia, Council Chamber (05/12), Julian Study Centre (06-07/12)
Conference Website:

The conference has been very successful, attracting 38 participants (43 registered) from a number of different countries (including Brasil, Canada, France, Netherlands, USA) as well as several institutions based in the UK, including Bristol, Cambridge, London (KCL), Aberdeen, ILLC (Amsterdam), Konstanz, Warwick. The background of the audience has been highly multidisciplinary, including philosophers, mathematicians, economists, aestheticians and one flutist (Albert Manders), who kindly performed for us during a break on the second day of the conference. All speakers (with a roughly even split between aestheticians and philosophers of science or mathematics) have shown a genuine enthusiasm about the event and interacted very comfortably across disciplinary boundaries. After earlier contacts with Prof. Robert Thomas, the editor of Philosophia Mathematica, it has been confirmed that the conference papers will be submitted to that journal for publication. Once enough of them have been accepted, it will be possible to edit a special issue on the topic of the conference, with a dedicated introduction to be prepared jointly by Angela Breitenbach and myself. Acknowledgments to the BSA for making the conference possible and creating an occasion for the publication of contributions will be included in our introductory piece.

Conference Programme

Friday 5 December 2014 (Registry Council Chamber)

9:30-10:00: Registration and Coffee
10:00-11:20: John Bell (University of Western Ontario) Reflections on Mathematics and Aesthetics
11:20-11:40: Coffee Break
11:40-13:00: Elisabeth Schellekens (University of Uppsala/Durham) On the aesthetic value of reasoning
13:00-14:30: Lunch
14:30-15:10: Toby Bryant (Cambridge) In defense of the aesthetic value of mathematica-physical theories15.10-15-50: Logan Fletcher (University of Maryland) Mechanistic understanding, visual proof, and mathematical beauty
15:50-16:10: Coffee Break
16:10-17:30: James McAllister (University of Leiden) Six questions for any account of mathematical
beauty, with some answers

Drinks and Dinner

Saturday 6 December 2014 (Julian Study Centre 1.03)

9:30-10:50: Kenneth Manders (University of Pittsburgh) On Geometricality
10:50-11:10: Coffee Break
11:10-12:30: Thomas Forster (Cambridge) Beauty and Wonder
12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-14:10: Nicholas Riggle (Lafayette College) Aesthetic Properties and Mathematical Beauty
14:10-14.50: Manya Raman Sundström (Umeå University) Beauty as fit in mathematics
14:50-15:10: Coffee Break
15:10-16:30: Catarina Dutilh-Novaes (University of Groeningen) Beauty, explanation, and persuasion in mathematical proofs
16.40-18.00: Irina Starikova (University of São Paulo) Symmetry and beauty in mathematics

Drinks and Conference Dinner

Sunday 7 December 2014 (Julian Study Centre 1.03)

9:30-10:50: Catherine Elgin (Harvard) Elegance, Exemplification, and Mathematics
10:50-11:10: Coffee Break
11:10-11:50: Adam Rieger (University of Glasgow) Mathematics and Beauty
11:50-12.30: Caroline Jullien (Université de Lorraine) On the aesthetics in Poincaré’s philosophy of mathematics
12.30-13:30: Lunch
13:30-14:50: Cain Todd (University of Lancaster) Fitting Feelings: the possibility of aesthetic judgments in mathematics

End of conference