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  1. Peter Ainsworth (2011). Ontic Structural Realism and the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. Erkenntnis 75 (1):67-84.
    Recently, there has been a debate as to whether or not the principle of the identity of indiscernibles (the PII) is compatible with quantum physics. It is also sometimes argued that the answer to this question has implications for the debate over the tenability of ontic structural realism (OSR). The central aim of this paper is to establish what relationship there is (if any) between the PII and OSR. It is argued that one common interpretation of OSR is undermined if (...)
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  2. Peter M. Ainsworth (2012). The Third Path to Structural Realism. Hopos 2 (2):307-320.
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  3. Peter Mark Ainsworth (2010). What is Ontic Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):50-57.
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  4. Holger Andreas & Frank Zenker (forthcoming). Basic Concepts of Structuralism. Erkenntnis:1-6.
    Primarily addressed to readers unfamiliar with the structuralist approach in philosophy of science, we introduce the basic concepts that the contributions to this special issue presuppose. By means of examples, we briefly review set-theoretic structures and predicates, the potential and actual models of an empirical theory, intended applications, as well as links and specializations that are applied, among others, in reconstructing the empirical claim associated with a theory element.
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  5. Jonas R. Becker Arenhart & Otávio Bueno (2015). Structural Realism and the Nature of Structure. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):111-139.
    Ontic Structural Realism is a version of realism about science according to which by positing the existence of structures, understood as basic components of reality, one can resolve central difficulties faced by standard versions of scientific realism. Structures are invoked to respond to two important challenges: one posed by the pessimist meta-induction and the other by the underdetermination of metaphysics by physics, which arises in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. We argue that difficulties in the proper understanding of what a structure is (...)
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  6. Jonathan Bain, Towards Structural Realism.
    In the debate over scientific realism, attention has been given recently to a realist position referred to as structural realism. In this essay, I offer a version of this position and indicate how it addresses two standard forms of underdetermination argument posed by the anti-realist.
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  7. Jonathan Bain (2013). Category-Theoretic Structure and Radical Ontic Structural Realism. Synthese 190 (9):1621-1635.
    Radical Ontic Structural Realism (ROSR) claims that structure exists independently of objects that may instantiate it. Critics of ROSR contend that this claim is conceptually incoherent, insofar as, (i) it entails there can be relations without relata, and (ii) there is a conceptual dependence between relations and relata. In this essay I suggest that (ii) is motivated by a set-theoretic formulation of structure, and that adopting a category-theoretic formulation may provide ROSR with more support. In particular, I consider how a (...)
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  8. Wolfgang Balzer & Carlos Ulises Moulines (eds.) (1996). Structuralist Theory of Science: Focal Issues, New Results. Walter De Gruyter.
  9. Yann Benétreau-Dupin (2011). An Empiricist Criterion of Meaning. South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):95-108.
    The meaning of scientific propositions is not always expressible in terms of observable phenomena. Such propositions involve generalizations, and also terms that are theoretical constructs. I study here how to assess the meaning of scientific propositions, that is, the specific import of theoretical terms. Empiricists have expressed a concern that scientific propositions, and theoretical terms, should always be, to some degree, related to observable consequences. We can see that the former empiricist criterion of meaning only implies for theoretical terms not (...)
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  10. Katherine Brading & Elaine Landry (2006). Scientific Structuralism: Presentation and Representation. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):571-581.
    This paper explores varieties of scientific structuralism. Central to our investigation is the notion of `shared structure'. We begin with a description of mathematical structuralism and use this to point out analogies and disanalogies with scientific structuralism. Our particular focus is the semantic structuralist's attempt to use the notion of shared structure to account for the theory-world connection, this use being crucially important to both the contemporary structural empiricist and realist. We show why minimal scientific structuralism is, at the very (...)
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  11. Katherine Brading & Elaine Landry, A Minimal Construal of Scientific Structuralism.
    The focus of this paper is the recent revival of interest in structuralist approaches to science and, in particular, the structural realist position in philosophy of science . The challenge facing scientific structuralists is three-fold: i) to characterize scientific theories in ‘structural’ terms, and to use this characterization ii) to establish a theory-world connection (including an explanation of applicability) and iii) to address the relationship of ‘structural continuity’ between predecessor and successor theories. Our aim is to appeal to the notion (...)
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  12. Katherine Brading & Alexander Skiles (2012). Underdetermination as a Path to Structural Realism. In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality. Springer.
  13. Otávio Bueno (2011). Structural Empiricism, Again. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. 81--103.
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  14. Otávio Bueno (2010). Structuralism and Information. Metaphilosophy 41 (3):365-379.
    Abstract: According to Luciano Floridi (2008) , informational structural realism provides a framework to reconcile the two main versions of realism about structure: the epistemic formulation (according to which all we can know is structure) and the ontic version (according to which structure is all there is). The reconciliation is achieved by introducing suitable levels of abstraction and by articulating a conception of structural objects in information-theoretic terms. In this essay, I argue that the proposed reconciliation works at the expense (...)
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  15. Otávio Bueno (2008). Structural Realism, Scientific Change, and Partial Structures. Studia Logica 89 (2):213 - 235.
    Scientific change has two important dimensions: conceptual change and structural change. In this paper, I argue that the existence of conceptual change brings serious difficulties for scientific realism, and the existence of structural change makes structural realism look quite implausible. I then sketch an alternative account of scientific change, in terms of partial structures, that accommodates both conceptual and structural changes. The proposal, however, is not realist, and supports a structuralist version of van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism (structural empiricism).
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  16. Tian Yu Cao (2006). Structural Realism and Quantum Gravity. In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Oxford University Press.
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  17. Tian Yu Cao (2003). Structural Realism and the Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory. Synthese 136 (1):3 - 24.
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  18. Adam Caulton & Jeremy Butterfield (2012). Symmetries and Paraparticles as a Motivation for Structuralism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):233-285.
    This article develops an analogy proposed by Stachel between general relativity (GR) and quantum mechanics (QM) as regards permutation invariance. Our main idea is to overcome Pooley's criticism of the analogy by appeal to paraparticles. In GR, the equations are (the solution space is) invariant under diffeomorphisms permuting spacetime points. Similarly, in QM the equations are invariant under particle permutations. Stachel argued that this feature—a theory's ‘not caring which point, or particle, is which’—supported a structuralist ontology. Pooley criticizes this analogy: (...)
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  19. Angelo Cei (2010). Structural Realism as a Form of Humility. In M. Dorato M. Suàrez (ed.), Epsa Epistemology and Methodology of Science. Springer. 35--45.
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  20. Angelo Cei (2005). Structural Distinctions: Entities, Structures, and Changes in Science. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1385-1396.
    Abstract. I argue that pessimistic meta-induction (PMI) seems to point an ontological priority of the relations over the objects of the scientific theories of the kind suggested by French and Ladyman (French and Ladyman 2003). My strategy will involve a critical examination of epistemic structural realism (ESR) and historical case-study: the prediction of Zeeman’s effect in Lorentz’s theory of electron.
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  21. Anjan Chakravartty, Ontological Priority: The Conceptual Basis of Non-Eliminative, Ontic Structural Realism.
    The number of positions identified with structural realism in philosophical debates about scientific knowledge has grown significantly in the past decade, particularly with respect to the metaphysical or ‘ontic’ approach (OSR). In recent years, several advocates of OSR have proposed a novel understanding of it in order to side-step a serious challenge faced by its original formulation, eliminative OSR. I examine the conceptual basis of the new, noneliminative view, and conclude that it too faces a serious challenge, resulting in a (...)
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  22. Anjan Chakravartty (2004). Structuralism as a Form of Scientific Realism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):151 – 171.
    Structural realism has recently re-entered mainstream discussions in the philosophy of science. The central notion of structure, however, is contested by both advocates and critics. This paper briefly reviews currently prominent structuralist accounts en route to proposing a metaphysics of structure that is capable of supporting the epistemic aspirations of realists, and that is immune to the charge most commonly levelled against structuralism. This account provides an alternative to the existing epistemic and ontic forms of the position, incorporating elements of (...)
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  23. Anjan Chakravartty (2003). The Structuralist Conception of Objects. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):867-878.
    This paper explores the consequences of the two most prominent forms of contemporary structural realism for the notion of objecthood. Epistemic structuralists hold that we can know structural aspects of reality, but nothing about the natures of unobservable relata whose relations define structures. Ontic structuralists hold that we can know structural aspects of reality, and that there is nothing else to know—objects are useful heuristic posits, but are ultimately ontologically dispensable. I argue that structuralism does not succeed in ridding a (...)
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  24. Anjan Chakravartty (1998). Semirealism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):391-408.
    The intuition of the naı¨ve realist, miracle arguments notwithstanding, is countered forcefully by a host of considerations, including the possibility of underdetermination, and criticisms of abductive inferences to explanatory hypotheses. Some have suggested that an induction may be performed, from the perspective of present theories, on their predecessors. Past theories are thought to be false, strictly speaking; it is thus likely that present-day theories are also false, and will be taken as such at an appropriate future time.
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  25. Hsiang‐Ke Chao (2007). A Structure of the Consumption Function. Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (2):227-248.
    It is claimed in the structural realism in philosophy of science that scientists aim to preserve the true structure, represented by the equations in their models. We reinterpret structural realism as a doctrine involving representation. Proving the existence of a representation theorem secures the problem of lacking independent criteria for identification between structure and non?structure. This paper argues that a similar realist view of structure can be found in the theory of consumption in which the Fisherian framework of intertemporal choices (...)
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  26. Pierre Cruse (2005). Ramsey Sentences, Structural Realism and Trivial Realization. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (3):557-576.
    Several recent authors identify structural realism about scientific theories with the claim that the content of a scientific theory is expressible using its Ramsey sentence. Many of these authors have also argued that so understood, the view collapses into empiricist anti-realism, since an argument originally proposed by Max Newman in a review of Bertrand Russell’s The analysis of matter demonstrates that Ramsey sentences are trivially satisfied, and cannot make any significant claims about unobservables. In this paper I argue against both (...)
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  27. Gerald Doppelt, Does Structural Realism Provide the Best Explanation of the Predictive Success of Science?
    I examine Carrier’s and Ladyman’s structural realist (‘SR’) explanation of the predictive success of phlogiston chemistry. On their account, it succeeds because phlogiston chemists grasped that there is some common unobservable structure of relations underlying combustion, calcification, and respiration. I argue that this SR account depends on assuming the truth of current chemical theory of oxidation and reduction, which provides a better explanation of the success of phlogiston theory than SR provides. I defend an alternative version of inference-to-the-best-explanation scientific realism (...)
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  28. Mauro Dorato & Massimo Pauri, Holism and Structuralism in Classical and Quantum General Relativity.
    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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  29. Cian Dorr (2010). Review of James Ladyman and Don Ross, Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (6).
    Ladyman, Ross and their collaborators (Spurrett is a co-author of two chapters, Collier of one) begin their book with a ferocious attack on "analytic metaphysics", as it is currently practiced. Their opening blast claims that contemporary analytic metaphysics 'contributes nothing to human knowledge': its practitioners are 'wasting their talents', and the whole enterprise, although 'engaged in by some extremely intelligent and morally serious people, fails to qualify as part of the enlightened pursuit of objective truth, and should be discontinued' (vii). (...)
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  30. Joseph Earley, Process Structural Realism, Instance Ontology, and Societal Order.
    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 both (...)
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  31. Joseph E. Earley (2008). Ontologically Significant Aggregation: Process Structural Realism (PSR). In Weber (ed.), Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought. De Gruyter. 2--179.
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  32. Michael Esfeld, Holism and Structural Realism.
    We first introduce structural realism as a position in the metaphysics of science, pointing out the way in which this position replaces intrinsic properties with relations so that it amounts to a holistic in contrast to an atomistic metaphysics. We argue in favour of a moderate version of structural realism that puts objects and relations on the same ontological footing and assess the general philosophical arguments for this position. The second section shows how structural realism gains support from quantum physics. (...)
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  33. Michael Esfeld (2013). Ontic Structural Realism and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. 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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  34. Michael Esfeld (2009). The Modal Nature of Structures in Ontic Structural Realism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194.
    Ontic structural realism is the view that structures are what is real in the first place in the domain of fundamental physics. The structures are usually conceived as including a primitive modality. However, it has not been spelled out as yet what exactly that modality amounts to. This paper proposes to fill this lacuna by arguing that the fundamental physical structures possess a causal essence, being powers. Applying the debate about causal vs categorical properties in analytic metaphysics to ontic structural (...)
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  35. Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam (2011). Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. 143--159.
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  36. Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam (2006). Moderate Structural Realism About Space-Time. 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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  37. Luciano Floridi (2007). A Defence of Informational Structural Realism. Synthese 161 (2):219 - 253.
    This is the revised version of an invited keynote lecture delivered at the 1st Australian Computing and Philosophy Conference (CAP@AU; the Australian National University in Canberra, 31 October–2 November, 2003). 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 (SR), epistemic (ESR) and ontic (OSR) structural realism are reconcilable. It follows that a version of OSR (...)
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  38. Bas C. Van Fraassen (2006). Structure: Its Shadow and Substance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):275 - 307.
    Structural realism as developed by John Worrall and others can claim philosophical roots as far back as the late 19th century, though the discussion at that time does not unambiguously favor the contemporary form, or even its realism. After a critical examination of some aspects of the historical background some severe critical challenges to both Worrall's and Ladyman's versions are highlighted, and an alternative empiricist structuralism proposed. Support for this empiricist version is provided in part by the different way in (...)
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  39. James Franklin (2014). Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics. Palgrave MacMillan.
    An Aristotelian Philosophy of Mathematics breaks the impasse between Platonist and nominalist views of mathematics. Neither a study of abstract objects nor a mere language or logic, mathematics is a science of real aspects of the world as much as biology is. For the first time, a philosophy of mathematics puts applied mathematics at the centre. Quantitative aspects of the world such as ratios of heights, and structural ones such as symmetry and continuity, are parts of the physical world and (...)
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  40. Steven French (2014). The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation. Oup Oxford.
    Steven French articulates and defends the bold claim that there are no objects in the world. He draws on metaphysics and philosophy of science to argue for structural realism--the position that we live in a world of structures--and defends a form of eliminativism about objects that sets laws and symmetry principles at the heart of ontology.
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  41. Steven French (2013). Semi-Realism, Sociability and Structure. Erkenntnis 78 (1):1 - 18.
    Semi-realism offers a metaphysics of science based on causal properties. Insofar as these are understood in terms of dispositions for specific relations that comprise the concrete structure of the world it can be regarded as a form of structural realism. And insofar as these properties are 'sociable' and cohere into the groupings that comprise the particulars investigated by science, it captures the underlying intuition behind forms of entity realism. However, I shall raise concerns about both these features. I shall suggest (...)
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  42. Steven French (2013). Eschewing Entities: Outlining a Biology Based Form of Structural Realism. In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. 371--381.
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  43. Steven French (2012). Unitary Inequivalence as a Problem for Structural Realism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 43 (2):121-136.
    Howard argues that the existence of unitarily inequivalent representations in Quantum Field Theory presents a problem for structural realism in this context. I consider two potential ways round this problem: 1), follow Wallace in adopting the 'naive' Lagrangian form of QFT with cut-offs; 2), adapt Ruetsche's 'Swiss Army Knife' approach. The first takes us into the current debate between Wallace and Fraser on conventional vs. algebraic QFT. The second involves consideration of the role of inequivalent representations in understanding spontaneous symmetry (...)
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  44. Steven French (2011). Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):164-173.
    Within the philosophy of science, the realism debate has been revitalised by the development of forms of structural realism. These urge a shift in focus from the object oriented ontologies that come and go through the history of science to the structures that remain through theory change. Such views have typically been elaborated in the context of theories of physics and are motivated by, first of all, the presence within such theories of mathematical equations that allow straightforward representation of the (...)
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  45. Steven French (2010). The Interdependence of Structure, Objects and Dependence. 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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  46. Steven French (2006). Structure as a Weapon of the Realist. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (2):167–185.
    Although much of its history has been neglected or misunderstood, a structuralist 'tendency' has re-emerged within the philosophy of science. Broadly speaking, it consists of two fundamental strands: on the one hand, there is the identification of structural commonalities between theories; on the other, there is the metaphysical decomposition of objects in structural terms. Both have been pressed into service for the realist cause: the former has been identified primarily with Worrall's 'epistemic' structural realism; the latter with Ladyman's 'ontic' form. (...)
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  47. Steven French (2001). Symmetry, Structure, and the Constitution of Objects. PhilSci Archive.
    In this paper I focus on the impact on structuralism of the quantum treatment of objects in terms of symmetry groups and, in particular, on the question as to how we might eliminate, or better, reconceptualise such objects in structural terms. With regard to the former, both Cassirer and Eddington not only explicitly and famously tied their structuralism to the development of group theory but also drew on the quantum treatment in order to further their structuralist aims and here I (...)
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  48. Steven French & James Ladyman (2011). In Defence of Ontic Structural Realism. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. 25--42.
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  49. Steven French & James Ladyman (2003). Remodelling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure. [REVIEW] Synthese 136 (1):31-56.
    We outline Ladyman's 'metaphysical' or 'ontic' form of structuralrealism and defend it against various objections. Cao, in particular, has questioned theview of ontology presupposed by this approach and we argue that by reconceptualisingobjects in structural terms it offers the best hope for the realist in thecontext of modern physics.
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  50. Steven French & Juha Saatsi (2006). Realism About Structure: The Semantic View and Nonlinguistic Representations. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):548-559.
    The central concern of this paper is whether the Semantic Approach to theories has the resources to appropriately capture the core tenets of structural realism. Chakravartty, for example, has argued that a realist notion of correspondence cannot be accommodated without introducing a linguistic component which undermines the Approach itself. We suggest first of all, that this worry can be addressed by an appropriate understanding of the role of language with respect to the Semantic Approach. Secondly, we argue that an appropriately (...)
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