Can anyone explain the very beginning of The Analysis of Matter to me? What exactly is it that he is saying is an aesthetic choice with respect to physics?

I just opened up the book and can't get past the first two pages.

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    If you don't include the text you don't understand, you rely on other people having the book in question within easy reach. – Magus Aug 28 '14 at 19:41
  • it can be found on google books which i will link to, but it's a page and i dunno if i have the energy to write it all out in defeat mode :/ – user6917 Aug 28 '14 at 19:44
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    Links can have any address behind them, so many people are wary of them. Remember, this is a website where people volunteer to answer questions. It is generally a good idea, therefore, to put in at least the amount of effort you would like someone to put into an answer. – Magus Aug 28 '14 at 21:50

In mathematics, the elegant solution is preferred as a matter of faith. This is related to Occam's Razor, which prefers succinctness as a guide to choosing a solution amongst those available.

Here, Russell sites Euclidean Geometry can be formulated as a theory using different sets of axioms. The particular axioms we use have been chosen based on the elegance and economy of the resulting theory of geometry in the plane.

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