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  1. Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld, Structures as the Objects of Fundamental Physics.
    The paper argues that there are structures rather than objects with an intrinsic identity in the domain of fundamental physics. We line out the standard metaphysics of objects with an intrinsic identity, recall the main objection against that position (section 1) and then retrace the development to epistemic structural realism (section 2) and to ontic structural realism (section 3). We elaborate on the arguments for ontic structural realism from quantum physics (section 4) and from space-time physics (section 5). Finally, we (...)
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  2. Vincent Lam (forthcoming). Entities Without Intrinsic Physical Identity. Erkenntnis:1-15.
    This paper critically discusses recent objections that have been raised against the contextual understanding of fundamental physical objects advocated by non-eliminative ontic structural realism. One of these recent objections claims that such a purely relational understanding of objects cannot account for there being a determinate number of them. A more general objection concerns a well-known circularity threat: relations presuppose the objects they relate and so cannot account for them. A similar circularity objection has also been raised within the framework of (...)
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  3. Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich (forthcoming). No Categorial Support for Radical Ontic Structural Realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt053.
    Radical ontic structural realism (ROSR) asserts an ontological commitment to ‘free-standing’ physical structures understood solely in terms of fundamental relations, without any recourse to relata that stand in these relations. Bain ([2013], pp.1621–35) has recently defended ROSR against the common charge of incoherence by arguing that a reformulation of fundamental physical theories in category-theoretic terms (rather than the usual set-theoretic ones) offers a coherent and precise articulation of the commitments accepted by ROSR. In this essay, we argue that category theory (...)
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  4. Vincent Lam (2013). The Entanglement Structure of Quantum Field Systems. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):59 - 72.
    This article discusses the peculiar features of quantum entanglement and quantum non-locality within the algebraic approach to relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT). The debate on the ontology of RQFT is considered in the light of these well-known but little discussed features. In particular, this article examines the ontic structural realist understanding of quantum entanglement and quantum non-locality and its contribution to this debate.
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  5. Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld (2013). A Dilemma for the Emergence of Spacetime in Canonical Quantum Gravity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):286-293.
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  6. Vincent Lam (2012). Geometric Possibility. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (2):226-229.
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  7. Vincent Lam (2012). Review Of: Tian Yu Cao, From Current Algebra to Quantum Chromodynamics: A Case for Structural Realism. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 32 (6):447-449.
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  8. Vincent Lam (2012). Tian Yu Cao , From Current Algebra to Quantum Chromodynamics: A Case for Structural Realism . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 32 (6):447-449.
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  9. Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld (2012). The Structural Metaphysics of Quantum Theory and General Relativity. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 43 (2):243-258.
    The paper compares ontic structural realism in quantum physics with ontic structural realism about space–time. We contend that both quantum theory and general relativity theory support a common, contentful metaphysics of ontic structural realism. After recalling the main claim of ontic structural realism and its physical support, we point out that both in the domain of quantum theory and in the domain of general relativity theory, there are objects whose essential ways of being are certain relations so that these objects (...)
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  10. Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam (2011). Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects. In. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. 143--159.
  11. Vincent Lam (2011). Gravitational and Nongravitational Energy: The Need for Background Structures. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1012-1024.
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  12. Vincent Lam (2010). Metaphysics of Causation and Physics of General Relativity. Humana.Mente 13:61-80.
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  13. Vincent Lam (2007). The Singular Nature of Spacetime. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):712-723.
    We consider to what extent the fundamental question of spacetime singularities is relevant for the philosophical debate about the nature of spacetime. After reviewing some basic aspects of the spacetime singularities within general relativity, we argue that the well known difficulty to localize them in a meaningful way may challenge the received metaphysical view of spacetime as a set of points possessing some intrinsic properties together with some spatiotemporal relations. Considering the algebraic formulation of general relativity, we argue that the (...)
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  14. 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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  15. Vincent Lam (2005). Causation and Space-Time. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4):465 - 478.
    This paper considers the physical accounts of causation in terms of conserved quantities in the light of the theory of general relativity. As it is rather well-known among physicists, there are several difficulties with the notions of conservation and localization of the (gravitational) energy-momentum within general relativity. We first begin to review the so-called conserved quantity theory of causation mainly due to Dowe and Salmon, then we discuss some consequences of these difficulties for this physical account of causation. We argue (...)
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