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Elegance, Simplicity, Beauty

Henri Poincaré, in Science And Method (1908) asks 'What is it that gives us the feeling of elegance in a solution or a demonstration?' His answer: It is the harmony of the different parts, their symmetry, and their happy adjustment; it is, in a word, all that introduces order, all that gives them unity, that enables us to obtain a clear comprehension of the whole as well as of the parts. I was reminded of this today whilst reading a paper by Semir Zeki and his colleagues in Frontiers in Neuroscience. Their study of the experience of mathematical beauty and its neural...