Results for 'ontological realism'

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  1. Ontological realism: A methodology for coordinated evolution of scientific ontologies.Barry Smith & Werner Ceusters - 2010 - Applied ontology 5 (3):139-188.
    Since 2002 we have been testing and refining a methodology for ontology development that is now being used by multiple groups of researchers in different life science domains. Gary Merrill, in a recent paper in this journal, describes some of the reasons why this methodology has been found attractive by researchers in the biological and biomedical sciences. At the same time he assails the methodology on philosophical grounds, focusing specifically on our recommendation that ontologies developed for scientific purposes should be (...)
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  2. Clinical data wrangling using Ontological Realism and Referent Tracking.Werner Ceusters, Chiun Yu Hsu & Barry Smith - 2014 - In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO), Houston, 2014, (CEUR, 1327). pp. 27-32.
    Ontological realism aims at the development of high quality ontologies that faithfully represent what is general in reality and to use these ontologies to render heterogeneous data collections comparable. To achieve this second goal for clinical research datasets presupposes not merely (1) that the requisite ontologies already exist, but also (2) that the datasets in question are faithful to reality in the dual sense that (a) they denote only particulars and relationships between particulars that do in fact exist (...)
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  3. Dealing with elements of medical encounters: An approach based on ontological realism.Farinelli Fernanda, Almeida Mauricio, Elkin Peter & Barry Smith - 2016 - Proceedings of the Joint International Conference on Biological Ontology and Biocreative 1747.
    Electronic health records (EHRs) serve as repositories of documented data collected in a health care encounter. An EHR records information about who receives, who provides the health care and about the place where the encounter happens. We also observe additional elements relating to social relations in which the healthcare consumer is involved. To provide a consensus representation of common data and to enhance interoperability between different EHR repositories we have created a solution grounded in formal ontology. Here, we present how (...)
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  4. Philosophical foundations of intelligence collection and analysis: a defense of ontological realism.William Mandrick & Barry Smith - 2022 - Intelligence and National Security 38.
    There is a common misconception across the lntelligence Community (IC) to the effect that information trapped within multiple heterogeneous data silos can be semantically integrated by the sorts of meaning-blind statistical methods employed in much of artificial intelligence (Al) and natural language processlng (NLP). This leads to the misconception that incoming data can be analysed coherently by relying exclusively on the use of statistical algorithms and thus without any shared framework for classifying what the data are about. Unfortunately, such approaches (...)
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  5. Non-Realist Cognitivism, Truthmaking, and Ontological Cheating.Farbod Akhlaghi - 2022 - Ethics 132 (2):291-321.
    Derek Parfit defended Non-Realist Cognitivism. It is an open secret that this metaethical theory is often thought at best puzzling and at worst objectionably unclear. Employing truthmaker theory, I provide an account of Non-Realist Cognitivism that dispels charges of objectionable unclarity, clarifies how to assess it, and explains why, if plausible, it would be an attractive theory. I develop concerns that the theory involves cheating into an objection that ultimately reveals Non-Realist Cognitivism faces a dilemma. Whether it can escape demands (...)
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  6. The ontology of words: Realism, nominalism, and eliminativism.J. T. M. Miller - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (7):e12691.
    What are words? What makes two token words tokens of the same word-type? Are words abstract entities, or are they (merely) collections of tokens? The ontology of words tries to provide answers to these, and related questions. This article provides an overview of some of the most prominent views proposed in the literature, with a particular focus on the debate between type-realist, nominalist, and eliminativist ontologies of words.
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  7. Realism, ontology, and the concept of reality.R. Martinelli - 2014 - Etica E Politica 16 (2):526-532.
    This essay focuses on realism in ontology and on the problem of defining reality. According to the definition given by many realists, reality is independent of our thoughts, conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, etc. Yet, this merely negative definition of reality has some disadvantages: it implies a dualistic view, and it is incompatible with scientific realism. As an alternative, I introduce and discuss the traditional definition of reality as effectiveness, or capability of acting. I then attempt to determine to (...)
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  8. Ontological-Transcendental Defence of Metanormative Realism.Michael Kowalik - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):573-586.
    If there is something (P) that every possible agent is committed to value, and certain actions or attitudes either enhance or diminish P, then normative claims about a range of intentional actions can be objectively and non-trivially evaluated. I argue that the degree of existence as an agent depends on the consistency of reflexive-relating with other individuals of the agent-kind: the ontological thesis. I then show that in intending to act on a reason, every agent is rationally committed to (...)
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  9. Spacetime, Ontology, and Structural Realism.Edward Slowik - 2005 - 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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  10. 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 (...)
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  11. An ontological proof of moral realism.Michael Huemer - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):259-279.
    The essay argues that while there is no general agreement on whether moral realism is true, there is general agreement on at least some of the moral obligations that we have if moral realism is true. Given that moral realism might be true, and given that we know some of the things we ought to do if it is true, we have a reason to do those things. Furthermore, this reason is itself an objective moral reason. Thus, (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Scientific Realism and Primitive Ontology Or: The Pessimistic Induction and the Nature of the Wave Function.Valia Allori - 2018 - Lato Sensu 1 (5):69-76.
    In this paper I wish to connect the recent debate in the philosophy of quantum mechanics concerning the nature of the wave function to the historical debate in the philosophy of science regarding the tenability of scientific realism. Being realist about quantum mechanics is particularly challenging when focusing on the wave function. According to the wave function ontology approach, the wave function is a concrete physical entity. In contrast, according to an alternative viewpoint, namely the primitive ontology approach, the (...)
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  14. Scientific realism and ontology.Uskali Mäki - 2008 - In Steven N. Durlauf & Lawrence E. Blume (eds.), The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics : volume 7 : real balances - stochastic volatility models. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Economists customarily talk about the ‘realism’ of economic models and of their assumptions and make descriptive and prescriptive judgements about them: this model has more realism in it than that, the realism of assumptions does not matter, and so on. This is not the way philosophers mostly use the term ‘realism’ thus there is a major terminological discontinuity between the two disciplines. The following remarks organise and critically elaborate some of the philosophical usages of the term (...)
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  15. A realism-based approach to the evolution of biomedical ontologies.Barry Smith - 2006 - In Proceedings of the Annual AMIA Symposium. Washington, DC: American Medical Informatics Association. pp. 121-125.
    We present a novel methodology for calculating the improvements obtained in successive versions of biomedical ontologies. The theory takes into account changes both in reality itself and in our understanding of this reality. The successful application of the theory rests on the willingness of ontology authors to document changes they make by following a number of simple rules. The theory provides a pathway by which ontology authoring can become a science rather than an art, following principles analogous to those that (...)
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  16. An ontology of weak entity realism for HPC kinds.Reuben Sass - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11861-11880.
    This paper defends an ontology of weak entity realism for homeostatic property cluster (HPC) theories of natural kinds, adapted from Bird’s (Synthese 195(4):1397–1426, 2018) taxonomy of such theories. Weak entity realism about HPC kinds accepts the existence of natural kinds. Weak entity realism denies two theses: that (1) HPC kinds have mind-independent essences, and that (2) HPC kinds reduce to entities, such as complex universals, posited only by metaphysical theories. Strong entity realism accepts (1) and (2), (...)
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  17. Foundations for a Realist Ontology of Mental Disease.Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2010 - Journal of Biomedical Semantics 1 (10):1-23.
    While classifications of mental disorders have existed for over one hundred years, it still remains unspecified what terms such as 'mental disorder', 'disease' and 'illness' might actually denote. While ontologies have been called in aid to address this shortfall since the GALEN project of the early 1990s, most attempts thus far have sought to provide a formal description of the structure of some pre-existing terminology or classification, rather than of the corresponding structures and processes on the side of the patient. (...)
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  18. Ontological omniscience in Lewisian modal realism.J. Reinert - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):676-682.
    A simple argument against Lewisian modal realism as portrayed in On the Plurality of World arises from its treatment of doxastic modalities. It is easily shown that if it is true, it is impossible to doubt the theory on ontological grounds, or, that, if it is possible to maintain doubt about modal realism’s existential postulate, it has to be false. The argument hinges on the fact that modal realism’s main ontological hypothesis, if true, is necessarily (...)
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  19. Cautious realism and middle range ontology.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):365-370.
    Part of a book symposium on Anjan Chakravartty's Scientific ontology: integrating naturalized metaphysics and voluntarist epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2017).
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    Anti-Realism, Easy Ontology, and Issues of Reference.Iñaki Xavier Larrauri Pertierra - manuscript
    In order to re-contextualize the otherwise ontologically privileged meaning of metaphysical debates into a more insubstantial form, metaphysical deflationism runs the risk of having to adopt potentially unwanted anti-realist tendencies. This tension between deflationism and anti-realism can be expressed as follows: in order to claim truthfully that something exists, how can deflationism avoid the anti-realist feature of construing such claims singularly in an analytical fashion? One may choose to adopt a Yablovian fallibilism about existential claims, but other approaches can (...)
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  21. Foundation for a Realist Ontology of Cognitive Processes.David Kasmier, David Limbaugh & Barry Smith - 2019 - In Proceedings of the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO), University at Buffalo, NY.
    What follows is a first step towards an ontology of conscious mental processes. We provide a theoretical foundation and characterization of conscious mental processes based on a realist theory of intentionality and using BFO as our top-level ontology. We distinguish three components of intentional mental process: character, directedness, and objective referent, and describe several features of the process character and directedness significant to defining and classifying mental processes. We arrive at the definition of representational mental process as a process that (...)
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  22. Can an Ontological Pluralist Really be a Realist?J. T. M. Miller - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (3):425-430.
    This article examines whether it is possible to uphold one form of deflationism towards metaphysics, ontological pluralism, whilst maintaining metaphysical realism. The focus therefore is on one prominent deflationist who fits the definition of an ontological pluralist, Eli Hirsch, and his self-ascription as a realist. The article argues that ontological pluralism is not amenable to the ascription of realism under some basic intuitions as to what a “realist” position is committed to. These basic intuitions include (...)
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  23. Physics and ontology - or The 'ontology-ladenness' of epistemology and the 'scientific realism'-debate.Rudolf Lindpointner - manuscript
    The question of what ontological insights can be gained from the knowledge of physics (keyword: ontic structural realism) cannot obviously be separated from the view of physics as a science from an epistemological perspective. This is also visible in the debate about 'scientific realism'. This debate makes it evident, in the form of the importance of perception as a criterion for the assertion of existence in relation to the 'theoretical entities' of physics, that epistemology itself is 'ontologically (...)
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  24. Biological explanations, realism, ontology, and categories.Matthew J. Barker - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
    This is an extended review of John Dupré's _Processes of Life_, a collection of essays. It clarifies Dupré's concepts of reductionism and anti-reductionism, and critically examines his associated discussions of downward causation, and both the context sensitivity and multiple realization of categories. It reviews his naturalistic monism, and critically distinguishes between his realism about categories and constructivism about classification. Challenges to his process ontology are presented, as are arguments for his pluralism about scientific categories. None of his main conclusions (...)
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  25. Benefits of Realist Ontologies to Systems Engineering.Eric Merrell, Robert M. Kelly, David Kasmier, Barry Smith, Marc Brittain, Ronald Ankner, Evan Maki, Curtis W. Heisey & Kevin Bush - 2021 - 8th International Workshop on Ontologies and Conceptual Modelling (OntoCom).
    Applied ontologies have been used more and more frequently to enhance systems engineering. In this paper, we argue that adopting principles of ontological realism can increase the benefits that ontologies have already been shown to provide to the systems engineering process. Moreover, adopting Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), an ISO standard for top-level ontologies from which more domain specific ontologies are constructed, can lead to benefits in four distinct areas of systems engineering: (1) interoperability, (2) standardization, (3) testing, and (...)
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  26.  29
    Markov blankets: Realism and our ontological commitments.Danielle J. Williams - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:e217.
    The authors argue that their target is orthogonal to the realism and instrumentalist debate. I argue that it is born directly from it. While the distinction is helpful in illuminating how some ontological commitments demand a theory of implementation, it's less clear whether different views cleanly map onto the epistemic and metaphysical uses defined in the paper.
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    Ontology of Knowledge Beyond the opposition idealism/realism (issue 20221026).Jean-Louis Boucon - 2022 - Academia.Edu.
    From 1) the main ideas of the Kantian CRP - 2) a reinterpretation of the concept of transcendental subject and - 3) the logical principle of Individuation, we propose a new ontology in which subject and object are of the same reality. We describe the dynamic principle by which the Existence of the subject emerges from formless meta-substance and separates into an animated representation of the world.
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  28. Applying the Realism-Based Ontology-Versioning Method for Tracking Changes in the Basic Formal Ontology.Selja Seppälä, Barry Smith & Werner Ceusters - 2014 - In P. Garbacz & O. Kutz (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2014). IOS Press. pp. 227-240.
    Changes in an upper level ontology have obvious conse-quences for the domain ontologies that use it at lower levels. It is therefore crucial to document the changes made between successive versions of ontologies of this kind. We describe and apply a method for tracking, explaining and measuring changes between successive versions of upper level ontologies such as the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO). The proposed change-tracking method extends earlier work on Realism-Based Ontology Versioning (RBOV) and Evolutionary Terminology Auditing (ETA). We (...)
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  29. 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 (...)
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  30. 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 (...)
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  31. Kant on the Moral Ontology of Constructivism and Realism.Paul Formosa - 2013 - In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 185-196.
    There has been much recent debate on the question of whether Kant is to be best understood as a moral realist or a moral constructivist. In an attempt to resolve this debate I examine whether moral constructivism is a form of moral idealism, briefly contrast realism and idealism, and draw on work in social ontology to look at the different accounts of moral ontology implicit in realist and constructivist accounts. As a result of this investigation I conclude that Kant (...)
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  32. Negative findings in electronic health records and biomedical ontologies: a realist approach.Werner Ceusters, Peter Elkin & Barry Smith - 2007 - International Journal of Medical Informatics 76 (3):S326-S333.
    PURPOSE—A substantial fraction of the observations made by clinicians and entered into patient records are expressed by means of negation or by using terms which contain negative qualifiers (as in “absence of pulse” or “surgical procedure not performed”). This seems at first sight to present problems for ontologies, terminologies and data repositories that adhere to a realist view and thus reject any reference to putative non-existing entities. Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) and Referent Tracking (RT) are examples of such paradigms. The (...)
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  33. Demarcation, instantiation, and individual traits: Realist social ontology for mental disorders.Polaris Koi - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (6):793-813.
    Realists about mental disorder have been hasty about dismissing social explanations of how mental disorder is constituted. However, many social ontologies are realist ontologies. In order to create a meaningful distinction between realism and social metaphysics about mental disorder, I propose that realism about mental disorder is best understood as Individual Trait Realism (ITR) about them. For ITR, mental disorders exist in virtue of traits. I defend the view that ITR is compatible with social metaphysics, arguing that, (...)
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  34. Scientific Realism without the Wave-Function: An Example of Naturalized Quantum Metaphysics.Valia Allori - 2020 - In Juha Saatsi & Steven French (eds.), Scientific Realism and the Quantum. Oxford University Press.
    Scientific realism is the view that our best scientific theories can be regarded as (approximately) true. This is connected with the view that science, physics in particular, and metaphysics could (and should) inform one another: on the one hand, science tells us what the world is like, and on the other hand, metaphysical principles allow us to select between the various possible theories which are underdetermined by the data. Nonetheless, quantum mechanics has always been regarded as, at best, puzzling, (...)
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  35. Would SNOMED CT benefit from realism-based ontology evolution?Werner Ceusters, Kent Spackman & Barry Smith - 2007 - AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings 2007:105-109.
    If SNOMED CT is to serve as a biomedical reference terminology, then steps must be taken to ensure comparability of information formulated using successive versions. New releases are therefore shipped with a history mechanism. We assessed the adequacy of this mechanism for its treatment of the distinction between changes occurring on the side of entities in reality and changes in our understanding thereof. We found that these two types are only partially distinguished and that a more detailed study is required (...)
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  36. Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology.Robert Arp, Barry Smith & Andrew D. Spear - 2015 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    In the era of “big data,” science is increasingly information driven, and the potential for computers to store, manage, and integrate massive amounts of data has given rise to such new disciplinary fields as biomedical informatics. Applied ontology offers a strategy for the organization of scientific information in computer-tractable form, drawing on concepts not only from computer and information science but also from linguistics, logic, and philosophy. This book provides an introduction to the field of applied ontology that is of (...)
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  37. Realism about the wave function.Eddy Keming Chen - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (7):e12611.
    A century after the discovery of quantum mechanics, the meaning of quantum mechanics still remains elusive. This is largely due to the puzzling nature of the wave function, the central object in quantum mechanics. If we are realists about quantum mechanics, how should we understand the wave function? What does it represent? What is its physical meaning? Answering these questions would improve our understanding of what it means to be a realist about quantum mechanics. In this survey article, I review (...)
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  38. Why Realists Need Tropes.Markku Keinänen, Jani Hakkarainen & Antti Keskinen - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (1):69-85.
    We argue that if one wishes to be a realist, one should adopt a Neo-Aristotelian ontology involving tropes instead of a Russellian ontology of property universals and objects. Either Russellian realists should adopt the relata-specific relational tropes of instantiation instead of facts, or convert to Neo-Aristotelian realism with monadic tropes. Regarding Neo-Aristotelian realism, we have two novel points why it fares better than Russellian realism. Instantiation of property universals by tropes and characterization or inherence between tropes and (...)
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  39. Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism about Race.Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1039-1052.
    This paper distinguishes three concepts of "race": bio-genomic cluster/race, biological race, and social race. We map out realism, antirealism, and conventionalism about each of these, in three important historical episodes: Frank Livingstone and Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1962, A.W.F. Edwards' 2003 response to Lewontin (1972), and contemporary discourse. Semantics is especially crucial to the first episode, while normativity is central to the second. Upon inspection, each episode also reveals a variety of commitments to the metaphysics of race. We conclude by (...)
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  40. Informational realism.Luciano Floridi - manuscript
    What is the ultimate nature of reality? This paper defends an answer in terms of informational realism (IR). It does so in three stages. First, it is shown that, within the debate about structural realism (SR), epistemic (ESR) and ontic (OSR) structural realism are reconcilable by using the methodology of the levels of abstractions. It follows that OSR is defensible from a structuralist-friendly position. Second, it is argued that OSR is also plausible, because not all related objects (...)
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  41. Hic Rhodos, hic salta: From reductionist semantics to a realist ontology of forceful dispositions.Markus Schrenk - 2009 - In G. Damschen, K. Stueber & R. Schnepf (eds.), Debating Dispositions: Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. De Gruyter. pp. 143-167.
    It is widely believed that at least two developments in the last third of the 20th century have given dispositionalism—the view that powers, capacities, potencies, etc. are irreducible real properties—new credibility: (i) the many counterexamples launched against reductive analyses of dispositional predicates in terms of counterfactual conditionals and (ii) a new anti-Humean faith in necessary connections in nature which, it is said, owes a lot to Kripke’s arguments surrounding metaphysical necessity. I aim to show in this paper that necessity is, (...)
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  42. Ontological Pluralism and Notational Variance.Bruno Whittle - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 12:58-72.
    Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different ways to exist. It is a position with deep roots in the history of philosophy, and in which there has been a recent resurgence of interest. In contemporary presentations, it is stated in terms of fundamental languages: as the view that such languages contain more than one quantifier. For example, one ranging over abstract objects, and another over concrete ones. A natural worry, however, is that the languages proposed by the (...)
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  43. Realism and the Epistemic Objectivity of Science.Howard Sankey - 2021 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):5-20.
    The paper presents a realist account of the epistemic objectivity of science. Epistemic objectivity is distinguished from ontological objectivity and the objectivity of truth. As background, T.S. Kuhn’s idea that scientific theory-choice is based on shared scientific values with a role for both objective and subjective factors is discussed. Kuhn’s values are epistemologically ungrounded, hence provide a minimal sense of objectivity. A robust account of epistemic objectivity on which methodological norms are reliable means of arriving at the truth is (...)
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  44.  95
    Selective Realism and the Framework/Interaction Distinction: A Taxonomy of Fundamental Physical Theories.Federico Benitez - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (7):700-716.
    Following the proposal of a new kind of selective structural realism that uses as a basis the distinction between framework and interaction theories, this work discusses relevant applications in fundamental physics. An ontology for the different entities and properties of well-known theories is thus consistently built. The case of classical field theories—including general relativity as a classical theory of gravitation—is examined in detail, as well as the implications of the classification scheme for issues of realism in quantum mechanics. (...)
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  45. Ontologies and Politics of Biogenomic 'Race'.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther & Jonathan Michael Kaplan - 2013 - Theoria. A Journal of Social and Political Theory (South Africa) 60 (3):54-80.
    All eyes are turned towards genomic data and models as the source of knowledge about whether human races exist or not. Will genomic science make the final decision about whether racial realism (e.g., racial population naturalism) or anti-realism (e.g., racial skepticism) is correct? We think not. We believe that the results of even our best and most impressive genomic technologies underdetermine whether bio-genomic races exist, or not. First, different sub-disciplines of biology interested in population structure employ distinct concepts, (...)
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  46. Realism and the limits of explanatory reasoning.Juha Saatsi - 2018 - In The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism. London: Routledge. pp. 200-211.
    This chapter examines issues surrounding inference to the best explanation, its justification, and its role in different arguments for scientific realism, as well as more general issues concerning explanations’ ontological commitments. Defending the reliability of inference to the best explanation has been a central plank in various realist arguments, and realists have drawn various ontological conclusions from the premise that a given scientific explanation best explains some phenomenon. This chapter stresses the importance of thinking carefully about the (...)
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  47. Scientific realism with historical essences: the case of species.Marion Godman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3041-3057.
    Natural kinds, real kinds, or, following J.S Mill simply, Kinds, are thought to be an important asset for scientific realists in the non-fundamental (or “special”) sciences. Essential natures are less in vogue. I show that the realist would do well to couple her Kinds with essential natures in order to strengthen their epistemic and ontological credentials. I argue that these essential natures need not however be intrinsic to the Kind’s members; they may be historical. I concentrate on assessing the (...)
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  48.  57
    Cosmological Realism.David Merritt - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88 (C):193-208.
    I discuss the relevance of the current predicament in cosmology to the debate over scientific realism. I argue that the existence of two, empirically successful but ontologically inconsistent cosmological theories presents difficulties for the realist position.
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  49. Realism in the Desert.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Massimo Dell’Utri, Fabio Bacchini & Stefano Caputo (eds.), Realism and Ontology without Myths. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 16–31.
    Quine’s desert is generally contrasted with Meinong’s jungle, as a sober ontological alternative to the exuberant luxuriance that comes with the latter. Here I focus instead on the desert as a sober metaphysical alternative to the Aristotelian garden, with its tidily organized varieties of flora and fauna neatly governed by fundamental laws that reflect the essence of things and the way they can be, or the way they must be. In the desert there are no “natural joints”; all the (...)
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  50. Assessing Ontologies: The Question of Human Origins and Its Ethical Significance.Daniel Cohnitz & Barry Smith - 2003 - In E. Runggaldier & C. Kanzian (eds.), Persons: An Interdisciplinary Approach. öbv&hpt. pp. 243--259.
    In their paper “Sixteen Days” Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard try to answer the question: when does a human being begin to exist? In this paper we will address some methodological issues connected with this exercise in ontology. We shall begin by sketching the argument of “Sixteen Days”. We shall then attempt to characterize what is special about the ontological realism of “Sixteen Days” as contrasted to the linguistic constructivism which represents the more dominant current in contemporary analytic (...)
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