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  1. On Structuralism’s Multiple Paths Through Spacetime Theories.Edward Slowik - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):45-66.
    This essay examines the underdetermination problem that plagues structuralist approaches to spacetime theories, with special emphasis placed on the epistemic brands of structuralism, whether of the scientific realist variety or not. Recent non-realist structuralist accounts, by Friedman and van Fraassen, have touted the fact that different structures can accommodate the same evidence as a virtue vis-à-vis their realist counterparts; but, as will be argued, these claims gain little traction against a properly constructed liberal version of epistemic structural realism. Overall, a (...)
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  • Ontic Structural Realism and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Michael Esfeld - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):19-32.
    This paper argues that ontic structural realism (OSR) faces a dilemma: either it remains on the general level of realism with respect to the structure of a given theory, but then it is, like epistemic structural realism, only a partial realism; or it is a complete realism, but then it has to answer the question how the structure of a given theory is implemented, instantiated or realized and thus has to argue for a particular interpretation of the theory in question. (...)
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  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Structural Realism but Were Afraid to Ask.Roman Frigg & Ioannis Votsis - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-276.
    Everything you always wanted to know about structural realism but were afraid to ask Content Type Journal Article Pages 227-276 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0025-7 Authors Roman Frigg, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE UK Ioannis Votsis, Philosophisches Institut, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstraße 1, Geb. 23.21/04.86, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 2.
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  • Moderate Structural Realism About Space-Time.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):27 - 46.
    This paper sets out a moderate version of metaphysical structural realism that stands in contrast to both the epistemic structural realism of Worrall and the—radical—ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman. According to moderate structural realism, objects and relations (structure) are on the same ontological footing, with the objects being characterized only by the relations in which they stand. We show how this position fares well as regards philosophical arguments, avoiding the objections against the other two versions of structural realism. (...)
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  • The Structural Metaphysics of Quantum Theory and General Relativity.Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):243-258.
    The paper compares ontic structural realism in quantum physics with ontic structural realism about space–time. We contend that both quantum theory and general relativity theory support a common, contentful metaphysics of ontic structural realism. After recalling the main claim of ontic structural realism and its physical support, we point out that both in the domain of quantum theory and in the domain of general relativity theory, there are objects whose essential ways of being are certain relations so that these objects (...)
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  • Moderate Structural Realism About Space-Time.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):27-46.
    This paper sets out a moderate version of metaphysical structural realism that stands in contrast to both the epistemic structural realism of Worrall and the — radical — ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman. According to moderate structural realism, objects and relations are on the same ontological footing, with the objects being characterized only by the relations in which they stand. We show how this position fares well as regards philosophical arguments, avoiding the objections against the other two versions (...)
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  • An Interpretation on Structural Realism to Spacetime Used in Big-Bang Cosmology.Sho Fujita - 2017 - Journal of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 44 (1-2):1-14.
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  • Minkowski Spacetime and Lorentz Invariance: The Cart and the Horse or Two Sides of a Single Coin?Pablo Acuña - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 55:1-12.
    Michel Janssen and Harvey Brown have driven a prominent recent debate concerning the direction of an alleged arrow of explanation between Minkowski spacetime and Lorentz invariance of dynamical laws in special relativity. In this article, I critically assess this controversy with the aim of clarifying the explanatory foundations of the theory. First, I show that two assumptions shared by the parties—that the dispute is independent of issues concerning spacetime ontology, and that there is an urgent need for a constructive interpretation (...)
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  • A New Approach to the Relational‐Substantival Debate.Jill North - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 11:3-43.
    We should see the debate over the existence of spacetime as a debate about the fundamentality of spatiotemporal structure to the physical world. This is a non-traditional conception of the debate, which captures the spirit of the traditional one. At the same time, it clarifies the point of contention between opposing views and offsets worries that the dispute is stagnant or non-substantive. It also unearths a novel argument for substantivalism, given current physics. Even so, that conclusion can be overridden by (...)
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  • Gravity, Metaphysics or Physics ?Alfonso Leon Guillen Gomez - 2013 - International Journal of Fundamental Physical Sciences 3 (4):68 - 74.
    Gravity is the foundation of the current physical paradigm. Due to that gravity is strongly linked to the curvature of space-time, we research that it lacks of a valid physical concept of space-time, nevertheless that from the science philosophy, via substantivalism, it has tried respond. We found that is due to that the gnoseological process applied from the general relativity, necessarily us leads to metaphysic because ontologically space-time is a metaphysical entity. Thus, we arrive to the super substantivalism that from (...)
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  • Interpreting Heisenberg Interpreting Quantum States.Simon Friederich - 2012 - Philosophia Naturalis 50 (1):85-114.
    The paper investigates possible readings of the later Heisenberg's remarks on the nature of quantum states. It discusses, in particular, whether Heisenberg should be seen as a proponent of the epistemic conception of states – the view that quantum states are not descriptions of quantum systems but rather reflect the state assigning observers' epistemic relations to these systems. On the one hand, it seems plausible that Heisenberg subscribes to that view, given how he defends the notorious "collapse of the wave (...)
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  • Group Structural Realism.Bryan W. Roberts - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):47-69.
    We present a precise form of structural realism, called group structural realism , which identifies ‘structure’ in quantum theory with symmetry groups. However, working out the details of this view actually illuminates a major problem for structural realism; namely, a structure can itself have structure. This article argues that, once a precise characterization of structure is given, the ‘metaphysical hierarchy’ on which group structural realism rests is overly extravagant and ultimately unmotivated.
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  • The Relativity of Inertia and Reality of Nothing.Alexander Afriat & Ermenegildo Caccese - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):9-26.
    The determination of inertia by matter is looked at in general relativity, where inertia can be represented by affine or projective structure. The matter tensor T seems to underdetermine affine structure by ten degrees of freedom, eight of which can be eliminated by gauge choices, leaving two. Their physical meaning---which is bound up with that of gravitational waves and the pseudotensor t, and with the conservation of energy-momentum---is considered, along with the dependence of reality on invariance and of causal explanation (...)
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  • On the Existence of Spacetime Structure.Erik Curiel - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw014.
    I examine the debate between substantivalists and relationalists about the ontological character of spacetime and conclude it is not well posed. I argue that the hole argument does not bear on the debate, because it provides no clear criterion to distinguish the positions. I propose two such precise criteria and construct separate arguments based on each to yield contrary conclusions, one supportive of something like relationalism and the other of something like substantivalism. The lesson is that one must fix an (...)
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  • Challenging the Spacetime Structuralist.Christian Wuthrich - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):1039-1051.
    Structural realist interpretations of generally relativistic spacetimes have recently come to enjoy a remarkable degree of popularity among philosophers. I present a challenge to these structuralist interpretations that arises from considering cosmological models in general relativity. As a consequence of their high degree of spacetime symmetry, these models resist a structuralist interpretation. I then evaluate the various strategies available to the structuralist to react to this challenge. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, 9500 Gilman Drive, 0119, (...)
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  • The Singular Nature of Space-Time.Vincent Lam - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):712-723.
    We consider to what extent the fundamental question of spacetime singularities is relevant for the philosophical debate about the nature of spacetime. After reviewing some basic aspects of the spacetime singularities within general relativity, we argue that the well known difficulty to localize them in a meaningful way may challenge the received metaphysical view of spacetime as a set of points possessing some intrinsic properties together with some spatiotemporal relations. Considering the algebraic formulation of general relativity, we argue that the (...)
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  • Explaining Leibniz Equivalence as Difference of Non-Inertial Appearances: Dis-Solution of the Hole Argument and Physical Individuation of Point-Events.Luca Lusanna & Massimo Pauri - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (4):692-725.
    ”The last remnant of physical objectivity of space-time” is disclosed in the case of a continuous family of spatially non-compact models of general relativity. The physical individuation of point-events is furnished by the autonomous degrees of freedom of the gravitational field, which represent -as it were -the ontic part of the metric field. The physical role of the epistemic part is likewise clarified as embodying the unavoidable non-inertial aspects of GR. At the end the philosophical import of the Hole Argument (...)
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  • Structural Realism and Quantum Gravity.Tian Yu Cao - 2006 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Oxford University Press.
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  • Time and Structure in Canonical Gravity.Dean Rickles - 2004 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha T. Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Clarendon Press.
    In this paper I wish to make some headway on understanding what \emph{kind} of problem the ``problem of time'' is, and offer a possible resolution---or, rather, a new way of understanding an old resolution. The response I give is a variation on a theme of Rovelli's \emph{evolving constants of motion} strategy. I argue that by giving correlation strategies a \emph{structuralist} basis, a number of objections to the standard account can be blunted. Moreover, I show that the account I offer provides (...)
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  • Spacetime, Ontology, and Structural Realism.Edward Slowik - 2004 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):147 – 166.
    This essay explores the possibility of constructing a structural realist interpretation of spacetime theories that can resolve the ontological debate between substantivalists and relationists. Drawing on various structuralist approaches in the philosophy of mathematics, as well as on the theoretical complexities of general relativity, our investigation will reveal that a structuralist approach can be beneficial to the spacetime theorist as a means of deflating some of the ontological disputes regarding similarly structured spacetimes.
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  • Naturalising Badiou: Mathematical Ontology and Structural Realism.Fabio Gironi - unknown
    This thesis offers a naturalist revision of Alain Badiou’s philosophy. This goal is pursued through an encounter of Badiou’s mathematical ontology and theory of truth with contemporary trends in philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science. I take issue with Badiou’s inability to elucidate the link between the empirical and the ontological, and his residual reliance on a Heideggerian project of fundamental ontology, which undermines his own immanentist principles. I will argue for both a bottom-up naturalisation of Badiou’s philosophical approach (...)
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  • Dynamical Versus Structural Explanations in Scientific Revolutions.Mauro Dorato - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2307-2327.
    By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in fundamental physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up receiving a structural explanation in the new one. This claim is meant to give more substance to Kuhn’s view that revolutions are accompanied by a shift in what needs to be explained, while suggesting at the same time the existence (...)
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  • Humean Perspectives on Structural Realism.Holger Lyre - 2009 - In F. Stadler (ed.), The Present Situation in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 381--397.
    The paper is a kind of opinionated review paper on current issues in the debate about Structural Realism, roughly the view that we should be committed in the structural rather than object-like content of our best current scientific theories. The major thesis in the first part of the paper is that Structural Realism has to take structurally derived intrinsic properties into account, while in the second part key elements of aligning Structural Realism with a Humean framework are outlined.
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  • Holism and Structuralism in (1) Gauge Theory.Holger Lyre - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (4):643-670.
    After decades of neglect philosophers of physics have discovered gauge theories--arguably the paradigm of modern field physics--as a genuine topic for foundational and philosophical research. Incidentally, in the last couple of years interest from the philosophy of physics in structural realism--in the eyes of its proponents the best suited realist position towards modern physics--has also raised. This paper tries to connect both topics and aims to show that structural realism gains further credence from an ontological analysis of gauge theories--in particular (...)
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  • The Deep Metaphysics of Quantum Gravity: The Seventeenth Century Legacy and an Alternative Ontology Beyond Substantivalism and Relationism.Edward Slowik - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):490-499.
    This essay presents an alternative to contemporary substantivalist and relationist interpretations of quantum gravity hypotheses by means of an historical comparison with the ontology of space in the seventeenth century. Utilizing differences in the spatial geometry between the foundational theory and the theory derived from the foundational, in conjunction with nominalism and platonism, it will be argued that there are crucial similarities between seventeenth century and contemporary theories of space, and that these similarities reveal a host of underlying conceptual issues (...)
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  • Newton, the Parts of Space, and the Holism of Spatial Ontology.Edward Slowik - 2011 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2):249-272.
    This article investigates the problem of the identity of the parts of space in Newton’s natural philosophy, as well as the holistic or structuralist nature of Newton’s ontology of space. Additionally, this article relates the lessons reached in this historical and philosophical investigation to analogous debates in contemporary space-time ontology. While previous contributions, by Nerlich, Huggett, and others, have proven to be informative in evaluating Newton’s claims, it will be argued that the underlying goals of Newton’s views have largely eluded (...)
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  • Newton's Metaphysics of Space: A “Tertium Quid” Betwixt Substantivalism and Relationism, or Merely a “God of the Gaps”?Edward Slowik - 2009 - Perspectives on Science 17 (4):pp. 429-456.
    This paper investigates the question of, and the degree to which, Newton’s theory of space constitutes a third-way between the traditional substantivalist and relationist ontologies, i.e., that Newton judged that space is neither a type of substance/entity nor purely a relation among such substances. A non-substantivalist reading of Newton has been famously defended by Howard Stein, among others; but, as will be demonstrated, these claims are problematic on various grounds, especially as regards Newton’s alleged rejection of the traditional substance/accident dichotomy (...)
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  • Holism and Structuralism in U Gauge Theory.Holger Lyre - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (4):643-670.
    After decades of neglect philosophers of physics have discovered gauge theories--arguably the paradigm of modern field physics--as a genuine topic for foundational and philosophical research. Incidentally, in the last couple of years interest from the philosophy of physics in structural realism--in the eyes of its proponents the best suited realist position towards modern physics--has also raised. This paper tries to connect both topics and aims to show that structural realism gains further credence from an ontological analysis of gauge theories--in particular (...)
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  • In Search of (Spacetime) Structuralism.Hilary Greaves - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):189-204.
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