I always feel some kind of fulfillment when I succeed in giving Natural processes an explanation in the light of physics. It's kind of comforting to make invisible causes visible and understandable.

Paul Feyerabend has written the small book "Wissenschaft als Kunst" (Science as an art)

Art is seen as the physical expression of a worldview. Can we see science as an art? The expression of the view on an atom can for example be made with math (ideas), graphs, physical models, etcetera.

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    Can we see the sciences as zinkydoink? smbc-comics.com/comic/art-2
    – causative
    Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 18:21
  • Im sure it is a kind of zynkidoink. We have to investigate firther though... :) Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 18:42
  • Hi, it's easy to make arguments for/against this position. Maybe you'd want to narrow down which aspect of science you think might be close to which aspect of art? If you mean the idiosyncratic, personal aspect that you seem to attribute to art with your statement "art is seen as the physical expression of a worldview", then I'd say the answer is no. Some level of personal expression is allowed in science, of course, but the parameters are rigidly constrained by adherence to experimentation, principles of minimality, elegance, etc.
    – Fox Mulder
    Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 18:58
  • @FoxMulders I dont think art is much about personal exoression. It can be very well a collective expression of which the parameters you mention are a prefix. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 19:06

3 Answers 3


I see art as 'high craft', such that it extends or somehow transforms what can be done in the medium. So yes. But only sometimes, in the case of exceptional examples, or practicioners.

Discussion on what art is here: Video games as new art I would look to art as a kind of play: a creativity with what creativity is.


I would certainly agree that its practice is an art, as follows.

Its products generate aesthetic pleasure in other practitioners and even in non-practitioners (like me) whose brains are similarly wired. So ordinary people who do not play musical instruments or sing and act can nonetheless be moved by witnessing an opera performance, in the same way that we experience pleasure in reading an annotated description of for example Bohr's stepwise thought process of inventing the first generation of quantum mechanics.

It is a teachable discipline, in which particularly gifted people can learn the tools of the trade and become active practitioners themselves- and even in those cases where the student does not become an active practitioner, the student learns nonetheless how the process works and gains an appreciation for not just the product but also the process. In this regard science is no different from oil painting, sculpture, poetry, dance, music or acting.

It is, however, far far easier to make a living through the practice of science than in the practice of the other arts described above, because the fruits of science are tangible objects (TV's, computers, cell phones, cars, airplanes, bridges) which serve useful functions instead of just providing aesthetic pleasure. This means ordinary people will pay money for those fruits without regard or understanding of the aesthetics behind them: people buy refrigerators every day but those same people do not commission operas, or write them.

This is why I stopped being an electric bassist in 1979 when my degree work was complete and went to work as an engineer in the inkjet field. But in all the years that followed, I continued to pull my paints and brushes out and dabble around, metaphorically speaking- that is, music became my hobby instead of my vocation.

And now that I have retired from the high-tech field and no longer work at it for a living, I still dabble in engineering as a hobby, when I am not dabbling in bass playing as a hobby. The similarities are manifest, and the most fun happens when I blend the hobbies together. Illustrative examples are available on my website, www.nielsenkillowatt.com.


According to dictionary.com, art is:

the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

Science is usually viewed (to some degree) as “of more than ordinary significance”, and since it is expressed (through findings, observations, data, etc), it can be an art.

At the same time however, I can find several differences between what we consider art and science:

  1. Art is more of an expression of something you want to find or display in your world, while science is more of an expression of something you find to be that way in your world.

  2. While you can determine the outcome of your artwork or poetry, you cannot determine the outcome of your scientific findings.

  3. You cannot hypothesize about your artwork, but you can about scientific experimentation. Let me rephrase that, you could make a prediction about your artwork, but that’s not useful or at all surprising when the results come by.

Conclusion: Although science is the expression of what many to believe important, when considering the differences between what we consider to be art vs. science, it seems science isn’t much of an art because art is what you want, while science is what you get.

  • Sometimes you can get what you want. You want a certain reaction to occur and you get it. Even if you never saw it. But I get the point. Art doesnt have to involve beaty though. Sciience can involve beauty. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 18:47
  • Sure, but the end result (findings or explanations for natural processes) isn’t really created (like a poem), it’s found. With a reaction, you might know the end result, but to say you had the freedom to get what you want is different. When you do something satisfying in science (like a reaction), you may receive some gratification as if you’ve been practicing art. The satisfaction you get from science came to you (in this case) because your desires were in conformity with the way the natural world is. In art, your result was created by you, not by the laws of the universe... Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 19:03
  • @Ninnymuggins Yes thats right. I thiink it is an art though to make the laws of Nature stand out. To make them articulate. By means of drawings, graphics, written formulae or just words, thoughtd even, models and of course experiment. Ikn these things one can be free. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 19:13
  • Agreed, that makes sense. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 19:37

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