David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194 (2009)
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 realism, I show that the standard argument against categorical and for causal properties holds for structures as well. Structural realism, as a position in the metaphysics of science that is a form of scientific realism, is committed to causal structures. The metaphysics of causal structures is supported by physics, and it can provide for a complete and coherent view of the world that includes all domains of empirical science
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Citations of this work BETA
Roman Frigg & Ioannis Votsis (2011). Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Structural Realism but Were Afraid to Ask. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-276.
Steven French (2012). Unitary Inequivalence as a Problem for Structural Realism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 43 (2):121-136.
Michael Esfeld (2013). Ontic Structural Realism and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):19-32.
Andreas Bartels (2013). Why Metrical Properties Are Not Powers. Synthese 190 (12):2001-2013.
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