The Structure, the Whole Structure, and Nothing but the Structure?

Philosophy of Science 73 (5):560-570 (2006)
This paper takes issue with Ontic Structural Realism (OSR). It is structured around the three elements of the title. Section 2 highlights a substantive non-structural assumption that needs to be in place before we can talk about the structure. Then, by drawing on some relevant issues concerning mathematical structuralism, it claims that (a) structures need objects and (b) scientific structuralism should focus on in re structures. But then pure structuralism is undermined. Section 3 discusses whether the world has ‘excess structure’ over the structure of appearances. The main point is: the claim that only structure can be known is false. Finally, section 4 argues directly against ORS that it lacks the resources to accommodate causation within the structuralist slogan that “all that there is, is structure”.
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References found in this work BETA
William Demopoulos (2003). On the Rational Reconstruction of Our Theoretical Knowledge. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):371-403.

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Citations of this work BETA
Michael Esfeld (2009). The Modal Nature of Structures in Ontic Structural Realism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194.

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