!Symmetry, Proportion and Seriality: The Semantics of Mirroring and Repetition in Science and the Arts

The panels, which follow the plenary addresses in Sections I, II and III, are
intended as forums for open debate between the panellists and the
audience. The brief outline below is accordingly intended only as an opening
gambit and as a suggestion regarding possible discussion topics.
This section concentrates on the aesthetic effects of symmetry, proportion
and mirroring effects both in the humanities (e.g. in metre, in art, in music)
and in the sciences (e.g. the proportions and aesthetic properties of
equations or of theoretical models). More fundamentally, all theorizing is
actuated by a desire for simplicity and pregnancy, which often goes hand in
hand with a tendency towards symmetry or proportionate arrangements.
Cognitive analysis of mirror neurons has also shown that our urge for
imitation is based on a repetition compulsion that works through
identification, and which proposes a very convincing explanation of poetic
and everyday mimesis. These issues seem to suggest that symmetry,
proportion and mirroring are constitutive of aesthetic appreciation but also
central to cognition and understanding as well as to creative modelling in
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