What structures could not be

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):211 – 225 (2003)
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Abstract

James Ladyman has recently proposed a view according to which all that exists on the level of microphysics are structures "all the way down". By means of a comparative reading of structuralism in philosophy of mathematics as proposed by Stewart Shapiro, I shall present what I believe structures could not be. I shall argue that, if Ladyman is indeed proposing something as strong as suggested here, then he is committed to solving problems that proponents of structuralism in philosophy of mathematics such as Shapiro are trying to solve. Attempting to do so, however, brings out a tacit tension in Ladyman's position. I shall argue that the upshot of this is that the ontological import that Ladyman attributes to structures is rather epistemological import properly understood.

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Jacob Busch
University of Aarhus

Citations of this work

Ontic structural realism as a metaphysics of objects.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2011 - In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 143-159.
The modal nature of structures in ontic structural realism.Michael Esfeld - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194.

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