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  1. The Intelligibility of Metaphysical Structure.Peter Finocchiaro - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):581-606.
    Theories that posit metaphysical structure are able to do much work in philosophy. Some, however, find the notion of ‘metaphysical structure’ unintelligible. In this paper, I argue that their charge of unintelligibility fails. There is nothing distinctively problematic about the notion. At best, their charge of unintelligibility is a mere reiteration of previous complaints made toward similar notions. In developing their charge, I clarify several important concepts, including primitiveness, intelligibility, and the Armstrong-inspired “ontologism” view of the world. I argue that, (...)
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  • Strong Pluralism, Coincident Objects and Haecceitism.Karol Lenart & Artur Szachniewicz - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-24.
    According to strong pluralism, objects distinct by virtue of their modal properties can coincide. The most common objection towards such view invokes the so-called Grounding Problem according to which the strong pluralist needs to explain what the grounds are for supposed modal differences between the coincidents. As recognized in the literature, the failure to provide an answer to the Grounding Problem critically undermines the plausibility of strong pluralism. Moreover, there are strong reasons to believe that strong pluralists cannot provide an (...)
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  • Rethinking Individuality in Quantum Mechanics.Nathan Moore - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    One recent debate in philosophy of physics has centered whether quantum particles are individuals or not. The received view is that particles are not individuals and the standard methodology is to approach the question via the structure of quantum theory. I challenge both the received view and the standard methodology. I contend not only that the structure of quantum theory is not the right place to look for conditions of individuality that quantum particles may or may not satisfy, but also (...)
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  • 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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  • Counting the Particles: Entity and Identity in the Philosophy of Physics.Francesco Berto - 2017 - Metaphysica 18 (1).
    I would like to attack a certain view: The view that the concept of identity can fail to apply to some things although, for some positive integer n, we have n of them. The idea of entities without self-identity is seriously entertained in the philosophy of quantum mechanics. It is so pervasive that it has been labelled the Received View. I introduce the Received View in Section 1. In Section 2 I explain what I mean by entity, and I argue (...)
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  • Indexical Realism by Inter-Agentic Reference.Daihyun Chung - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Ideas (Seoul National University):3-33.
    I happen to believe that though human experiences are to be characterized as pluralistic they are all rooted in the one reality. I would assume the thesis of pluralism but how could I maintain my belief in the realism? There are various discussions in favor of realism but they appear to stay within a particular paradigm so to be called “internal realism”. In this paper I would try to justify my belief in the reality by discussing a special use of (...)
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  • Entities Without Intrinsic Physical Identity.Vincent Lam - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1157-1171.
    This paper critically discusses recent objections that have been raised against the contextual understanding of fundamental physical objects advocated by non-eliminative ontic structural realism. One of these recent objections claims that such a purely relational understanding of objects cannot account for there being a determinate number of them. A more general objection concerns a well-known circularity threat: relations presuppose the objects they relate and so cannot account for them. A similar circularity objection has also been raised within the framework of (...)
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  • 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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  • The Many Faces of Biological Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):761-773.
    Biological individuality is a major topic of discussion in biology and philosophy of biology. Recently, several objections have been raised against traditional accounts of biological individuality, including the objections of monism, theory-centrism, ahistoricity, disciplinary isolationism, and the multiplication of conceptual uncertainties. In this introduction, I will examine the current philosophical landscape about biological individuality, and show how the contributions gathered in this special issue address these five objections. Overall, the aim of this issue is to offer a more diverse, unifying, (...)
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  • Particles, Causation, and the Metaphysics of Structure.Anjan Chakravartty - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2273-2289.
    I consider the idea of a structure of fundamental physical particles being causal. Causation is traditionally thought of as involving relations between entities—objects or events—that cause and are affected. On structuralist interpretations, however, it is unclear whether or how precisely fundamental particles can be causally efficacious. On some interpretations, only relations exist; on others, particles are ontologically dependent on their relations in ways that problematize the traditional picture. I argue that thinking about causal efficacy in this context generates an inevitable (...)
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  • Is Identity Really so Fundamental?Décio Krause & Jonas R. Becker Arenhart - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (1):51-71.
    We critically examine the claim that identity is a fundamental concept. According to those putting forward this thesis, there are four related reasons that can be called upon to ground the fundamental character of identity: identity is presupposed in every conceptual system; identity is required to characterize individuality; identity cannot be defined; the intelligibility of quantification requires identity. We address each of these points and argue that none of them advances compelling reasons to hold that identity is fundamental; in fact, (...)
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  • The Received View on Quantum Non-Individuality: Formal and Metaphysical Analysis.Jonas Arenhart - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    The Received View on quantum non-individuality is, roughly speaking, the view according to which quantum objects are not individuals. It seems clear that the RV finds its standard expression nowadays through the use of the formal apparatuses of non-reflexive logics, mainly quasi-set theory. In such logics, the relation of identity is restricted, so that it does not apply for terms denoting quantum particles; this “lack of identity” formally characterizes their non-individuality. We face then a dilemma: on the one hand, identity (...)
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  • On Discernibility and Symmetries.Tomasz Bigaj - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):117-135.
    This paper addresses the issue of the multiplicity of various grades of discernibility that can be defined in model theory. Building upon earlier works on the subject, I first expand the known logical categorizations of discernibility by introducing several symmetry-based concepts of discernibility, including one I call “witness symmetry-discernibility”. Then I argue that only grades of discernibility stronger than this one possess certain intuitive features necessary to individuate objects. Further downsizing of the set of non-equivalent grades of discernibility can be (...)
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  • From Primitive Identity to the Non-Individuality of Quantum Objects.Jonas Becker Arenhart & Décio Krause - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):273-282.
    We consider the claim by Dorato and Morganti 591–610) that primitive individuality should be attributed to the entities dealt with by non-relativistic quantum mechanics. There are two central ingredients in the proposal: in the case of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, individuality should be taken as a primitive notion and primitive individuality is naturalistically acceptable. We argue that, strictly understood, naturalism faces difficulties in helping to provide a theory with a unique principle of individuation. We also hold that even when taken in (...)
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  • On Some Troubles with the Metaphysics of Fermionic Compositions.Tomasz Bigaj - 2016 - Foundations of Physics 46 (9):1168-1184.
    In this paper I discuss some metaphysical consequences of an unorthodox approach to the problem of the identity and individuality of “indistinguishable” quantum particles. This approach is based on the assumption that the only admissible way of individuating separate components of a given system is with the help of the permutation-invariant qualitative properties of the total system. Such a method of individuation, when applied to fermionic compositions occupying so-called GMW-nonentangled states, yields highly implausible consequences regarding the number of distinct components (...)
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  • Wither Away Individuals.Jonas Rafael Becker Arenhart - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3475-3494.
    In this paper we deal with the problem of identity and individuality in quantum mechanics. We analyze three definitions of the concept of an individual and propose to check their merits in relation to the theory. In order to achieve our goals our approach also ties those definitions of individuality to two distinct kinds of naturalism in ontology: a strong version, according to which quantum mechanics must somehow authorize in a positive fashion the ontological concepts being dealt with, and a (...)
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  • Why Non-Individuality? A Discussion on Individuality, Identity, and Cardinality in the Quantum Context.Jonas Rafael Becker Arenhart & Décio Krause - 2012 - Erkenntnis (1):1-18.
    Recently, in the debate about the ontology of quantum mechanics some authors have defended the view that quantum particles are individuals in a primitive sense, so that individuality should be preferred over non-individuality (the alternative option). Primitive individuality involves two main claims: (1) every item is identical with itself and (2) it is distinct from every other item. Non-relativistic quantum mechanics is said to provide positive evidence for that position, since in every situation comprising multiple particles there is a well-defined (...)
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  • Introduction for Synthese Special Issue Causation in the Metaphysics of Science: Natural Kinds.Andrew McFarland - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1375-1378.
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