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  1. A Critical Analysis of Structural Realism.Wei Wang - 2008 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (2):294-306.
    The epistemological version of structural realism, proposed by Cao Tianyu, has great influence in the philosophy of science. Syntheses has published a special volume discussing the topic. Cao criticizes anti-realism, as well as the epistemic and ontic versions of structural realism. From the concepts of structure, ontology, and construction, he analyzes the objectivity of scientific theories as having five aspects: construction, historicity, holism, revision, and revolution. This paper systematically analyzes and comments on Cao's structural realism. The author agrees with his (...)
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  • Structuralism and the Conformity of Mathematics and Nature.Noah Stemeroff - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 86:84-92.
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  • Recommended Questions on the Road Towards a Scientific Explanation of the Periodic System of Chemical Elements with the Help of the Concepts of Quantum Physics.W. H. Eugen Schwarz - 2006 - Foundations of Chemistry 9 (2):139-188.
    Periodic tables (PTs) are the ‘ultimate paper tools’ of general and inorganic chemistry. There are three fields of open questions concerning the relation between PTs and physics: (i) the relation between the chemical facts and the concept of a periodic system (PS) of chemical elements (CEs) as represented by PTs; (ii) the internal structure of the PS; (iii)␣The relation between the PS and atomistic quantum chemistry. The main open questions refer to (i). The fuzziness of the concepts of chemical properties (...)
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  • Goals Shape Means: A Pluralist Response to the Problem of Formal Representation in Ontic Structural Realism.Agnieszka M. Proszewska - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    The aim of the paper is to assess the relative merits of two formal representations of structure, namely, set theory and category theory. The purpose is to articulate ontic structural realism. In turn, this will facilitate a discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of both concepts and will lead to a proposal for a pragmatics-based approach to the question of the choice of an appropriate framework. First, we present a case study from contemporary science—a comparison of the formulation of quantum (...)
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  • Spin: All is Not What It Seems.Margaret Morrison - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):529-557.
  • Spin: All is Not What It Seems.Margaret Morrison - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):529-557.
  • Is There a Compelling Argument for Ontic Structural Realism?Matteo Morganti - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1165-1176.
    Structural realism first emerged as an epistemological thesis aimed to avoid the socalled pessimistic metainduction on the history of science. Some authors, however, have suggested that the preservation of structure across theory change is best explained by endorsing the metaphysical thesis that structure is all there is. Although the possibility of this latter, ‘ontic’ form of structural realism has been extensively debated, not much has been said concerning its justification. In this article, I distinguish between two arguments in favor of (...)
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  • An Alternative Interpretation of Statistical Mechanics.C. D. McCoy - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (1):1-21.
    In this paper I propose an interpretation of classical statistical mechanics that centers on taking seriously the idea that probability measures represent complete states of statistical mechanical systems. I show how this leads naturally to the idea that the stochasticity of statistical mechanics is associated directly with the observables of the theory rather than with the microstates (as traditional accounts would have it). The usual assumption that microstates are representationally significant in the theory is therefore dispensable, a consequence which suggests (...)
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  • Theory Change, Structural Realism, and the Relativised a Priori.Dan McArthur - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):5 – 20.
    In this paper I claim that Quinean naturalist accounts of science, that deny that there are any a priori statements in scientific frameworks, cannot account for the foundational role of certain classes of statements in scientific practice. In this I follow Michael Friedman who claims that certain a priori statements must be presupposed in order to formulate empirical hypotheses. I also show that Friedman's account, in spite of his claims to the contrary, is compatible with a type of non-Quinean naturalism (...)
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  • Recent Debates Over Structural Realism.Daniel McArthur - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):209 - 224.
    In recent years Structural Realism has been revived as a compromise candidate to resolve the long-standing question of scientific realism. Recent debate over structural realism originates with Worrall's (1989) paper "Structural Realism: The best of Both Worlds". However, critics such as Psillos contend that structural realism incorporates an untenable distinction between structure and nature, and is therefore unworkable. In this paper I consider three versions of structural realism that purport to avoid such criticism. The first is Chakravartty's "semirealism" which proceeds (...)
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  • Recent Debates Over Structural Realism.Daniel McArthur - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):209-224.
    In recent years Structural Realism has been revived as a compromise candidate to resolve the long-standing question of scientific realism. Recent debate over structural realism originates with Worrall's paper "Structural Realism: The best of Both Worlds". However, critics such as Psillos contend that structural realism incorporates an untenable distinction between structure and nature, and is therefore unworkable. In this paper I consider three versions of structural realism that purport to avoid such criticism. The first is Chakravartty's "semirealism" which proceeds by (...)
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  • Discovery, Theory Change and Structural Realism.Daniel James McArthur - 2011 - Synthese 179 (3):361 - 376.
    In this paper I consider two accounts of scientific discovery, Robert Hudson's and Peter Achinstein's. I assess their relative success and I show that while both approaches are similar in promising ways, and address experimental discoveries well, they could address the concerns of the discovery sceptic more explicitly than they do. I also explore the implications of their inability to address purely theoretical discoveries, such as those often made in mathematical physics. I do so by showing that extending Hudson's or (...)
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  • Contra Cartwright: Structural Realism, Ontological Pluralism and Fundamentalism About Laws.Dan Mcarthur - 2006 - Synthese 151 (2):233-255.
    In this paper I argue against Nancy Cartwright's claim that we ought to abandon what she calls "fundamentalism" about the laws of nature and adopt instead her "dappled world" hypothesis. According to Cartwright we ought to abandon the notion that fundamental laws apply universally, instead we should consider the law-like statements of science to apply in highly qualified ways within narrow, non-overlapping and ontologically diverse domains, including the laws of fundamental physics. For Cartwright, "laws" are just locally applicable refinements of (...)
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  • Realism, Underdetermination and String Theory Dualities.Keizo Matsubara - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):471-489.
    String theory promises to be able to provide us with a working theory of quantum gravity and a unified description of all fundamental forces. In string theory there are so called ‘dualities’; i.e. different theoretical formulations that are physically equivalent. In this article these dualities are investigated from a philosophical point of view. Semantic and epistemic questions relating to the problem of underdetermination of theories by data and the debate on realism concerning scientific theories are discussed. Depending on ones views (...)
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  • A Scientific Metaphysics and Ockham’s Razor.Bruce Long - 2019 - Axiomathes (5):1-31.
    I argue that although Ockham’s Razor (OR) has its origins in a-priorist ontological mandates according to the purposes of natural theology and natural philosophy as influenced by it, the principle has taken on significant empirical and contingent materialist connotations and conceptual content since the scientific revolution. I briefly discuss the pluralism of the concept of OR historically and in contemporary science and philosophy. I then attempt to align scientific metaphysics with contemporary conceptions of OR, and to demonstrate that ontic parsimony (...)
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  • Shared Structure Need Not Be Shared Set-Structure.Elaine Landry - 2007 - Synthese 158 (1):1 - 17.
    Recent semantic approaches to scientific structuralism, aiming to make precise the concept of shared structure between models, formally frame a model as a type of set-structure. This framework is then used to provide a semantic account of (a) the structure of a scientific theory, (b) the applicability of a mathematical theory to a physical theory, and (c) the structural realist’s appeal to the structural continuity between successive physical theories. In this paper, I challenge the idea that, to be so used, (...)
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  • Scientific Structuralism: On the Identity and Diversity of Objects in a Structure.James Ladyman - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):23–43.
  • S Cientific S Tructuralism: O N the I Dentity and D Iversity of O Bjects in a S Tructure.James Ladyman - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):23-43.
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  • I—James Ladyman: On the Identity and Diversity of Objects in a Structure.James Ladyman - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):23-43.
    The identity and diversity of individual objects may be grounded or ungrounded, and intrinsic or contextual. Intrinsic individuation can be grounded in haecceities, or absolute discernibility. Contextual individuation can be grounded in relations, but this is compatible with absolute, relative or weak discernibility. Contextual individuation is compatible with the denial of haecceitism, and this is more harmonious with science. Structuralism implies contextual individuation. In mathematics contextual individuation is in general primitive. In physics contextual individuation may be grounded in relations via (...)
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  • Ontic Structuralism and the Symmetries of Particle Physics.Aharon Kantorovich - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):73-84.
    According to structural realism, in mature science there is structural continuity along theoretical change. A major counterexample to this thesis is the transition from the Eightfold Way to the Standard Model in particle physics. Nevertheless, the notion of structure is significantly important in comprehending the theoretical picture of particle physics, where particles change and undergo transmutations, while the only thing which remains unchanged is the basic structure, i.e. the symmetry group which controls the transmutations. This kind of view agrees with (...)
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  • Symmetric and Asymmetric Theories of Time.Vincent Grandjean - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14403-14426.
    There is a feeling of dissatisfaction with the traditional way of defining the A-theories of time. One reason is that these definitions rest on an ontological question—‘Do the future and the past exist?’—to which no non-speculative answer can be provided. Another reason is that these definitions fail to distinguish between various A-theories of time at all times and, therefore, cannot be regarded as essential to them. In the present paper, I make a fresh start in the debate, by introducing two (...)
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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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  • The Interdependence of Structure, Objects and Dependence.Steven French - 2010 - Synthese 175 (S1):89 - 109.
    According to 'Ontic Structural Realism' (OSR), physical objects—qua metaphysical entities—should be reconceptualised, or, more strongly, eliminated in favour of the relevant structures. In this paper I shall attempt to articulate the relationship between these putative objects and structures in terms of certain accounts of metaphysical dependence currently available. This will allow me to articulate the differences between the different forms of OSR and to argue in favour of the 'eliminativist' version. A useful context is provided by Floridi's account of the (...)
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  • Meinard Kuhlmann, Holger Lyre and Andrew Wayne, Editors, Ontological Aspects of Quantum Field Theory, World Scientific Publishing, London (2002) ISBN 981-238-182-1 (376 Pp., US $98, £ 73). [REVIEW]Doreen Fraser - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (4):721-723.
  • A Defence of Informational Structural Realism.Luciano Floridi - 2008 - Synthese 161 (2):219-253.
    This is the revised version of an invited keynote lecture delivered at the "1st Australian Computing and Philosophy Conference". The paper is divided into two parts. The first part defends an informational approach to structural realism. It does so in three steps. First, it is shown that, within the debate about structural realism, epistemic and ontic structural realism are reconcilable. It follows that a version of OSR is defensible from a structuralist-friendly position. Second, it is argued that a version of (...)
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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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  • Hierarchy, Form, and Reality.Gang Chen - 2009 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):437-453.
    Scientific progress in the 20th century has shown that the structure of the world is hierarchical. A philosophical analysis of the hierarchy will bear obvious significance for metaphysics and philosophy in general. Jonathan Schaffer’s paper, “Is There a Fundamental Level?”, provides a systematic review of the works in the field, the difficulties for various versions of fundamentalism, and the prospect for the third option, i.e., to treat each level as ontologically equal. The purpose of this paper is to provide an (...)
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  • Prerequisites for a Consistent Framework of Quantum Gravity.Tian Yu Cao - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (2):181-204.
  • Structural Correspondence Between Organizational Theories.Herman Aksom & Svitlana Firsova - 2021 - Philosophy of Management 20 (3):307-336.
    Organizational research constitutes a differentiated, complex and fragmented field with multiple contradicting and incommensurable theories that make fundamentally different claims about the social and organizational reality. In contrast to natural sciences, the progress in this field can’t be attributed to the principle of truthlikeness where theories compete against each other and only best theories survive and prove they are closer to the truth and thus demonstrate scientific knowledge accumulation. We defend the structural realist view on the nature of organizational theories (...)
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  • Fundamentality.Steven French - 2021 - In Eleanor Knox, Alastair Wilson & Margaret Moore (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics. London: Routledge. pp. 679-688.
    The idea that there is some fundamental “level” or “ground” where our description of the world bottoms out has acquired the status of ‘the received view’ in metaphysics ; for a more recent critical defense, see Cameron, 2008). Typically this view is cashed out in terms of some set of ‘basic building blocks’ populating this level, which sits at the bottom of a hierarchy ordered according to some set of compositional principles. These fundamental building blocks are thus taken to have (...)
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  • A Quantum-Theoretic Argument Against Naturalism.Bruce L. Gordon - 2011 - In Bruce L. Gordon & William A. Dembski (eds.), The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books. pp. 179-214.
    Quantum theory offers mathematical descriptions of measurable phenomena with great facility and accuracy, but it provides absolutely no understanding of why any particular quantum outcome is observed. It is the province of genuine explanations to tell us how things actually work—that is, why such descriptions hold and why such predictions are true. Quantum theory is long on the what, both mathematically and observationally, but almost completely silent on the how and the why. What is even more interesting is that, in (...)
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  • A Scientific Metaphysical Naturalisation of Information.Bruce Long - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    The objective of this thesis is to present a naturalised metaphysics of information, or to naturalise information, by way of deploying a scientific metaphysics according to which contingency is privileged and a-priori conceptual analysis is excluded (or at least greatly diminished) in favour of contingent and defeasible metaphysics. The ontology of information is established according to the premises and mandate of the scientific metaphysics by inference to the best explanation, and in accordance with the idea that the primacy of physics (...)
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  • The Dependence of Objects on Structure: Tailoring Our Metaphysics to Fit the Physics.Steven French - unknown
    The composition of objects is a much discussed issue in metaphysics. In this paper I look at various approaches to this issue in the context of two examples: the relationship between ‘everyday’ objects, such as tables, and their constituent physical entities, and the relationship between structures and objects, from the perspective of structural realism. My aims are first, to defend forms of eliminativism in both cases, whereby one can still make statements about the entities to be eliminated ; and second, (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.
  • Holism and Structuralism in Classical and Quantum General Relativity.Mauro Dorato & Massimo Pauri - 2006 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 121-151.
    The main aim of our paper is to show that interpretative issues belonging to classical General Relativity (GR) might be preliminary to a deeper understanding of conceptual problems stemming from on-going attempts at constructing a quantum theory of gravity. Among such interpretative issues, we focus on the meaning of general covariance and the related question of the identity of points, by basing our investigation on the Hamiltonian formulation of GR. In particular, we argue that the adoption of a peculiar gauge-fixing (...)
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  • Beefing Up Recipe Realism: Stir a Pinch of Metaphysics Into the Pot.Steven French - unknown
    Recent developments in the scientific realism debate have resulted in a form of ‘exemplar driven’ realism that eschews general ‘recipes’ and instead focuses on the specific, ‘local’ reasons for adopting a realist stance in particular theoretical contexts. Here I suggest that such a move highlights even more sharply the need for the realist to incorporate a health dose of metaphysics in her position, particularly when it comes to the theories associated with modern physics. Turning to another set of recent developments, (...)
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  • Tracing the Development of Structural Realism.Ioannis Votsis - manuscript
    This chapter traces the development of structural realism within the scientific realism debate and the wider current of structuralism that has swept the philosophy of the natural sciences in the twentieth century.1 The primary aim is to make perspicuous the many manifestations of structural realism and their underlying claims. Among other things, I will compare structural realism’s various manifestations in order to throw more light onto the relations between them. At the end of the chapter, I will identify the main (...)
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