Freeing Structural Realism from Model Theory

In Judit Madarász & Gergely Székely (eds.), Hajnal Andréka and István Németi on Unity of Science: From Computing to Relativity Theory Through Algebraic Logic. Springer. pp. 363-382 (2021)
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Abstract

Structural realists contend that the properties and relations in the world are more fundamental than the individuals. However, the standard model theory used to analyse the structure of logical theories can make it difficult to see how such an idea could be coherent or workable: for in that theory, properties and relations are constructed as sets of individuals. In this paper, I look at three ways in which structuralists might hope for an alternative: by appealing to predicate-functor logic, Tractarian geometry, or cylindric algebras. I argue that the first two are problematic, but that the third is promising.

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Neil Dewar
Cambridge University

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