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  1. added 2019-01-30
    On the Preferability of Epistemic Structural Realism.Matteo Morganti - 2004 - Synthese 142 (1):81-107.
    In the last decade, structural realism has been presented as the most promising strategy for developing a defensible realist view of science. Nevertheless, controversy still continues in relation to the exact meaning of the proposed structuralism. The stronger version of structural realism, the so-called ontic structural realism, has been argued for on the basis of some ideas related to quantum mechanics. In this paper, I will first outline these arguments, mainly developed by Steven French and James Ladyman, then challenge them, (...)
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  2. added 2018-11-15
    The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
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  3. added 2018-11-02
    Inverse Functionalism and the Individuation of Powers.David Yates - 2017 - Synthese 195 (10):4525-4550.
    In the pure powers ontology (PPO), basic physical properties have wholly dispositional essences. PPO has clear advantages over categoricalist ontologies, which suffer from familiar epistemological and metaphysical problems. However, opponents argue that because it contains no qualitative properties, PPO lacks the resources to individuate powers, and generates a regress. The challenge for those who take such arguments seriously is to introduce qualitative properties without reintroducing the problems that PPO was meant to solve. In this paper, I distinguish the core claim (...)
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  4. added 2018-10-08
    The Physical World as a Blob: Is OSR Really Realism?Mauro Dorato - 2016 - Metascience 25 (2):173-181.
    In my review of Steven French's The structure of the world. Metaphysics & Representation. OUP, Oxford, 2014 I argue that the author is forced to navigate between the Scilla of Tegmark’s Pitagoreanism (2008) and the Carybdis of “blobobjectivism” (Horgan and Potrč 2008), namely the claim that the whole physical universe is a single concrete structurally complex but partless cosmos (a “blob”).
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  5. added 2018-06-29
    Carnap Sentences and the Newman Problem.Larisa Ioana Gogianu - 2015 - Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy 9 (1):23-30.
    In this paper I discuss the Newman problem in the context of contemporary epistemic structural realism (ESR). I formulate Newman’s objection in terms that apply to today’s ESR and then evaluate a defence of ESR based on Carnap’s use of Ramsey sentences and Hilbert’s ε-operator. I show that this defence improves the situation by allowing a formal stipulation of non-structural constraints. However, it fails short of achieving object individuation in the context of satisfying the Ramsified form of a theory. Thus, (...)
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  6. added 2017-12-14
    Robust Realism for the Life Sciences.Markus Eronen - 2016 - Synthese:1-14.
    Although scientific realism is the default position in the life sciences, philosophical accounts of realism are geared towards physics and run into trouble when applied to fields such as biology or neuroscience. In this paper, I formulate a new robustness-based version of entity realism, and show that it provides a plausible account of realism for the life sciences that is also continuous with scientific practice. It is based on the idea that if there are several independent ways of measuring, detecting (...)
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  7. added 2017-11-05
    Book Review: Jeff Buechner, Gödel, Putnam, and Functionalism: A New Reading of Representation and Reality. [REVIEW]Witold M. Hensel & Marcin Miłkowski - 2014 - Journal of Cognitive Science 15 (3):391-402.
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  8. added 2017-11-03
    Generalism and the Metaphysics of Ontic Structural Realism.David Glick - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy008.
    Ontic structural realism (OSR) claims that all there is to the world is structure. But how can this slogan be turned into a worked-out metaphysics? Here I consider one potential answer: a metaphysical framework known as generalism (Dasgupta, 2009, 2016). According to the generalist, the most fundamental description of the world is not given in terms of individuals bearing properties, but rather, general facts about which states of affairs obtain. However, I contend that despite several apparent similarities between the positions, (...)
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  9. added 2017-11-03
    The Ontology of Quantum Field Theory: Structural Realism Vindicated?David Glick - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:78-86.
    In this paper I elicit a prediction from structural realism and compare it, not to a historical case, but to a contemporary scientific theory. If structural realism is correct, then we should expect physics to develop theories that fail to provide an ontology of the sort sought by traditional realists. If structure alone is responsible for instrumental success, we should expect surplus ontology to be eliminated. Quantum field theory (QFT) provides the framework for some of the best confirmed theories in (...)
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  10. added 2017-10-31
    Newman’s Objection and the No Miracles Argument.Robert Smithson - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):993-1014.
    Structural realists claim that we should endorse only what our scientific theories say about the structure of the unobservable world. But according to Newman’s Objection, the structural realist’s claims about unobservables are trivially true. In recent years, several theorists have offered responses to Newman’s Objection. But a common complaint is that these responses “give up the spirit” of the structural realist position. In this paper, I will argue that the simplest way to respond to Newman’s Objection is to return to (...)
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  11. added 2017-09-22
    Bohm's Approach and Individuality.Paavo Pylkkänen, Basil J. Hiley & Ilkka Pättiniemi - 2016 - In Alexandre Guay & Thomas Pradeu (eds.), Individuals Across the Sciences. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Ladyman and Ross argue that quantum objects are not individuals and use this idea to ground their metaphysical view, ontic structural realism, according to which relational structures are primary to things. LR acknowledge that there is a version of quantum theory, namely the Bohm theory, according to which particles do have denite trajectories at all times. However, LR interpret the research by Brown et al. as implying that "raw stuff" or haecceities are needed for the individuality of particles of BT, (...)
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  12. added 2017-08-02
    Structuralism as a Response to Skepticism.David J. Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (12):625-660.
    Cartesian arguments for global skepticism about the external world start from the premise that we cannot know that we are not in a Cartesian scenario such as an evil-demon scenario, and infer that because most of our empirical beliefs are false in such a scenario, these beliefs do not constitute knowledge. Veridicalist responses to global skepticism respond that arguments fail because in Cartesian scenarios, many or most of our empirical beliefs are true. Some veridicalist responses have been motivated using verificationism, (...)
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  13. added 2017-07-23
    The Metaphysics of Relations, Edited by Anna Marmodoro and David Yates. [REVIEW]Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):123–130.
    The Metaphysics of Relations is an anthology of thirteen original papers plus an introduction, addressing the philosophical issue of relations from a contemporary and historical perspective. The result is a remarkably coherent whole, where the different papers shed light on each other even though very few of them explicitly address interconnections. As a consequence, the book works really well as an introduction to the philosophical issue on relations, while the individual papers represent cutting edge research on the particular issues that (...)
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  14. added 2017-07-11
    Structural Realism Versus Deployment Realism: A Comparative Evaluation.Timothy D. Lyons - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:95-105.
    In this paper I challenge and adjudicate between the two positions that have come to prominence in the scientific realism debate: deployment realism and structural realism. I discuss a set of cases from the history of celestial mechanics, including some of the most important successes in the history of science. To the surprise of the deployment realist, these are novel predictive successes toward which theoretical constituents that are now seen to be patently false were genuinely deployed. Exploring the implications for (...)
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  15. added 2016-12-08
    The World as a Graph: Defending Metaphysical Graphical Structuralism.N. Shackel - 2011 - Analysis 71 (1):10-21.
    Metaphysical graphical structuralism is the view that at some fundamental level the world is a mathematical graph of nodes and edges. Randall Dipert has advanced a graphical structuralist theory of fundamental particulars and Alexander Bird has advanced a graphical structuralist theory of fundamental properties. David Oderberg has posed a powerful challenge to graphical structuralism: that it entails the absurd inexistence of the world or the absurd cessation of all change. In this paper I defend graphical structuralism. A sharper formulation, some (...)
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  16. added 2016-09-02
    Scientific Realism, the Semantic View and Evolutionary Biology.Fabio Sterpetti - 2016 - In Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.), Models and Inferences in Science. Springer. pp. 55-76.
    The semantic view of theories is normally considered to be an ac-count of theories congenial to Scientific Realism. Recently, it has been argued that Ontic Structural Realism could be fruitfully applied, in combination with the semantic view, to some of the philosophical issues peculiarly related to bi-ology. Given the central role that models have in the semantic view, and the relevance that mathematics has in the definition of the concept of model, the fo-cus will be on population genetics, which is (...)
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  17. added 2016-04-12
    A Possible Answer to Newman’s Objection From the Perspective of Informational Structural Realism.Lavinia Marin - 2015 - Revue Roumaine de Philosophie 59 (2):307-318.
    This paper aims to reconstruct a possible answer to the classical Newman’s objection which has been used countless times to argue against structural realism. The reconstruction starts from the new strand of structural realism – informational structural realism – authored by Luciano Floridi. Newman’s objection had previously stated that all propositions which comprise the mathematical structures are merely trivial truths and can be instantiated by multiple models. This paper examines whether informational structural realism can overcome this objection by analysing the (...)
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  18. added 2016-01-11
    Panpsychism and Structural Realism.Godehard Brüntrup - 2011 - In Michael Blamauer (ed.), The Mental as Fundamental. New Perspectives on Panpsychism. pp. 15-35.
    Paper on structural realism and how its problems lend support to some kind of panpsychism.
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  19. added 2015-09-10
    Convergent Realism and Its Rivals.Rinat M. Nugayev - 2012 - Credo New (3):1-27.
    CONVERGENT REALISM AND ITS RIVALS (joining the realism-antirealism debates in modern Western philosophy of science). Rinat M. Nugayev, Kazan branch of Russian University of Cooperation. Abstract. Arguments pro and contra convergent realism are considered. It is argued that to meet the antirealist challenges convergent realism meta-programme hard core should be modified significantly . However well-known rivals of structural realism – entity realism (N. Cartwright and I. Hacking) and structural realism (John Worrall) – are mere revisionist versions of convergent realism based (...)
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  20. added 2015-09-05
    Internal Realism and the Objectivity of Scientific Knowledge.Rinat Nugayev - 2011 - Analytica 5:1-35.
    Arguments pro and contra convergent realism – underdetermination of theory by observational evidence and pessimistic meta-induction from past falsity – are considered. It is argued that, to meet the counter-arguments challenge, convergent realism should be considerably changed with a help of modification of the propositions from this meta-programme “hard core” or “protecting belt”. Two well-known convergent realism rivals – “entity realism” of Nancy Cartwright and Ian Hacking and John Worrall’s “structural realism” – are considered. Entity realism’s main drawback is fundamental (...)
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  21. added 2015-08-24
    Fundamentality and Ontological Minimality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press. pp. 237-253.
    In this chapter, a generic definition of fundamentality as an ontological minimality thesis is sought and its applicability examined. Most discussions of fundamentality are focused on a mereological understanding of the hierarchical structure of reality, which may be combined with an atomistic, object-oriented metaphysics. But recent work in structuralism, for instance, calls for an alternative understanding and it is not immediately clear that the conception of fundamentality at work in structuralism is commensurable with the mereological conception. However, it is proposed (...)
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  22. added 2015-06-23
    Ontic Structural Realism and Modality.Nora Berenstain & James Ladyman - 2012 - In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality. Springer.
    There is good reason to believe that scientific realism requires a commitment to the objective modal structure of the physical world. Causality, equilibrium, laws of nature, and probability all feature prominently in scientific theory and explanation, and each one is a modal notion. If we are committed to the content of our best scientific theories, we must accept the modal nature of the physical world. But what does the scientific realist’s commitment to physical modality require? We consider whether scientific realism (...)
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  23. added 2015-03-30
    Must Structural Realism Cover the Special Sciences?Holger Lyre - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 383--390.
    Structural Realism (SR) is typically rated as a moderate realist doctrine about the ultimate entities of nature described by fundamental physics. Whether it must be extended to the higher-level special sciences is not so clear. In this short paper I argue that there is no need to ‘structuralize’ the special sciences. By mounting concrete examples I show that structural descriptions and structural laws certainly play a role in the special sciences, but that they don’t play any exclusive role nor that (...)
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  24. added 2015-03-25
    Retention Myths Vs. Well-Managed Resources: Promises and Failings of Structural Realism (2014).Jean-Michel Delhotel - manuscript
    Turning away from entities and focusing instead exclusively on ‘structural’ aspects of scientific theories has been advocated as a cogent response to objections levelled at realist conceptions of the aim and success of science. Physical theories whose (predictive) past successes are genuine would, in particular, share with their successors structural traits that would ultimately latch on to ‘structural’ features of the natural world. Motives for subscribing to Structural Realism are reviewed and discussed. It is argued that structural retention claims lose (...)
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  25. added 2015-03-23
    Ontologically Significant Aggregation: Process Structural Realism (PSR).Joseph E. Earley - 2008 - In Weber (ed.), Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought. De Gruyter. pp. 2--179.
    Combinations of molecules, of biological individuals, or of chemical processes can produce effects that are not simply attributable to the constituents. Such non-redundant causality warrants recognition of those coherences as ontologically significant whenever that efficacy is relevant. With respect to such interaction, the effective coherence is more real than are the components. This ontological view is a variety of structural realism and is also a kind of process philosophy. The designation ‘process structural realism’ (PSR) seems appropriate.
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  26. added 2015-03-15
    Symmetrien, Strukturen, Realismus.Holger Lyre - 2012 - In Michael Esfeld (ed.), Philosophie der Physik. Suhrkamp. pp. 368-389.
    In der modernen Physik spielen Symmetrien eine herausragende Rolle zur Identifikation und Klassifizierung der fundamentalen Theorien und Entitäten. Symmetrien dienen der Darstellung invarianter Strukturen, das geeignete mathematische Werkzeug hierfür ist die Gruppentheorie. Eine Struktur lässt sich als eine Menge von Relationen verstehen, die einer Menge von Objekten aufgeprägt sind. Strukturell charakterisierte Objekte sind daher wesentlich über ihre relationalen Eigenschaften charakterisiert. Sieht man die theoretischen Entitäten wissenschaftlicher Theorien vornehmlich in dieser strukturellen Weise an, vertritt man eine moderate Variante eines wissenschaftlichen Realismus, (...)
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  27. added 2014-09-29
    Una propuesta para el realismo estructural.Thomas Meier - 2012 - STOA 3 (6):101-117.
    The purpose of this work is to outline a new approach to the debate on structural realism. This position has been criticized in the recent literature. First, the two arguments which led to the introduction of structural realism into the debate on scientific realism are introduced, namely, the “no-miracles Second, argument” the and framework the of “pessimistic structuralist meta induction”. meta-theory is introduced in order to argue as follows. Once this framework is adapted, it is possible to respond to the (...)
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  28. added 2014-04-27
    Actor Network, Ontic Structural Realism and the Ontological Status of Actants.Corrado Matta - 2014 - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Networked Learning 2014.
    In this paper I discuss the ontological status of actants. Actants are argued as being the basic constituting entities of networks in the framework of Actor Network Theory (Latour, 2007). I introduce two problems concerning actants that have been pointed out by Collin (2010). The first problem concerns the explanatory role of actants. According to Collin, actants cannot play the role of explanans of networks and products of the same newtork at the same time, at pain of circularity. The second (...)
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  29. added 2013-05-12
    Messung und Invarianz – ein Beitrag zum Metrologischen Strukturenrealismus.Alexander Ehmann - 2013 - Philosophia Naturalis 50 (2):215-251.
    [ENGLISH] The present article is a contribution to the development of metrological structural realism. This position of philosophy of science goes back to Matthias Neuber, who introduces it as a third variation of the main structural realisms: epistemic structural realism and ontic structural realism. Here, Neuber attempts to tackle the problems of OSR and ESR while preserving their respective strengths. Of central importance to his approach, are the concepts of invariance, structure and, especially, measurement. Starting from Eino Kaila’s „non-linguistic, realist (...)
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  30. added 2012-01-10
    I Am Also of the Opinion That Materialism Must Be Destroyed.Graham Harman - 2010 - Environment and Planning D 28 (5):1-17.
    This paper criticizes two forms of philosophical materialism that adopt opposite strategies but end up in the same place. Both hold that individual entities must be banished from philosophy. The first kind is ground floor materialism, which attempts to dissolve all objects into some deeper underlying basis; here, objects are seen as too shallow to be the truth. The second kind is first floor materialism, which treats objects as naive fictions gullibly posited behind the direct accessibility of appearances or relations; (...)
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  31. added 2010-12-09
    Ramsification and Inductive Inference.Panu Raatikainen - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):569-577.
    An argument, different from the Newman objection, against the view that the cognitive content of a theory is exhausted by its Ramsey sentence is reviewed. The crux of the argument is that Ramsification may ruin inductive systematization between theory and observation. The argument also has some implications concerning the issue of underdetermination.
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  32. added 2009-11-21
    Structural Realism: Continuity and its Limits.Ioannis Votsis - 2009 - In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 105--117.
    Structural realists of nearly all stripes endorse the structural continuity claim. Roughly speaking, this is the claim that the structure of successful scientific theories survives theory change because it has latched on to the structure of the world. In this paper I elaborate, elucidate and modify the structural continuity claim and its associated argument. I do so without presupposing a particular conception of structure that favours this or that kind of structural realism. Instead I focus on how structural realists can (...)
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  33. added 2008-12-31
    Process Structural Realism, Instance Ontology, and Societal Order.Joseph Earley - 2008 - In Franz Riffert and Hans-Joachim Sander (ed.), Rearching with Whitehead: System and Adventure. Berlin: Alber. pp. 190-211.
    Whitehead’s cosmology centers on the self-creation of actual occasions that perish as they come to be, but somehow do combine to constitute societies that are persistent agents and/or patients. “Instance Ontology” developed by D.W. Mertz concerns unification of relata into facts of relatedness by specific intensions. These two conceptual systems are similar in that they both avoid the substance-property distinction: they differ in their understanding of how basic units combine to constitute complex unities. “Process Structural Realism” (PSR) draws from both (...)
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