Abstract: The Rogers-Ramanujan identities are a pair of deep identities which express certain generating functions as infinite products. They were first proven by Rogers in 1894 and (independently) Ramanujan in 1917. In the following years, a variety of different proofs were given, but they mostly took the form of verifications: the proofs relied on having guessed or been given both sides of the identities in advance. We will discuss an argument called the “motivated proof,” first given by Andrews and Baxter in 1989, in which they proved the Rogers-Ramanujan identities by starting with only the product sides of the identities. We will then discuss some ongoing work, attempting to show how the steps in the motivated proof (and its generalizations to other sets of identities) actually come from the representation theory of a particular Lie algebra.