Melia and saatsi on structural realism

Synthese 175 (2):241-253 (2010)
Newman’s objection is sometimes taken to be a fatal objection to structural realism (SR). However, ambiguity in the definition of “structure” allows for versions that do not succumb to Newman’s objection. In this paper, I consider some versions of SR that maintain an abstract notion of structure yet avoid Newman’s objection. In particular, I consider versions suggested by Melia and Saatsi. They reject a solution that restricts the domain of the second-order quantifiers, and argue in favor of buttressing the language with intensional operators such as “it is physically necessary that...”. I argue that their favored solution effectively requires the former suggestion that they reject. This argument suggests that a notion of natural properties may be indispensable to SR.
Keywords Structuralism  Structural realism  Melia  Saatsi  Newman’s objection  Scientific realism
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    Anjan Chakravartty (2004). Structuralism as a Form of Scientific Realism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):151 – 171.
    Pierre Cruse (2005). Ramsey Sentences, Structural Realism and Trivial Realization. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (3):557-576.
    Fred I. Dretske (1977). Laws of Nature. Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.

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