Spacetime and structuralism: Epistemological realism or relativized a priorism?

The subject of this essay is the relationship, within spacetime theories, between contemporary structural realism and Michael Friedman’s recent defense of the relativized a priori. Despite Friedman’s claims that the relativized a priori can account for the progress and rationality of science, such that the elements and structures of past successful theories will continue to be retained in future successful theories, our investigation will demonstrate that his theory does not have sufficient resources to make this guarantee. However, by exploiting the distinction between the epistemic and ontic versions of structural realism, the main content of Friedman’s relativized a priori can be retained within a structural realist position, and can thereby secure the successive progress and rationality of science without sacrificing the essential ideas put forward by Friedman.
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