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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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.