About this topic
Summary Ontological realism is a term best applied to theories that are realist regarding what there is, where ‘what there is’ (or the relevant ontology)  is usually specified previous to or in conjunction with the realism regarding it. Realism, very simply put, is the notion that something is real. Ideas as to what there is can range from numbers to tables, so realism regarding a given ontology may seem more or less appealing or acceptable depending on the intuitions and beliefs one might already have about the reality of the sorts of things in that ontology.  A commitment to there being a fact of the matter might reasonably be expected to accompany accounts that go to the trouble of laying down what there is. Thus, if I say tables are real, as an ontological realist, I might reasonably be interpreted as claiming that this is an objective fact. Things, of course, are not this simple. There are ontological realists who don’t care to claim there’s any fact of the matter; there are those who dispute exactly which bits of a given ontology exist; there are those who argues that it all depends on exactly what you mean by ‘exist’ and/or ‘real’, which can vary according to context. On top of that, there endless nuance in the term ‘realism’. Philosophers identifying as realists can take a startling array of positions: ranging from relativism to determinism, and involving commitment to the existence from everything through to nothing at all (although those committed to the latter usually argue that we can feel free to speak as though some things are real). Nonetheless, if you begin with the supposition that ontological realism is about what there is being real, you’ve enough to be going on with.
Key works Key works include Chalmers et al 2009, and Jenkins 2010
Introductions Sider 2009
Related categories

176 found
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  1. Deepening the Controversy Over Metaphysical Realism.Sophie R. Allen - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (4):519-541.
    A significant ontological commitment is required to sustain metaphysical realism—the view that there is a single, objective way the world is—in order to defend it from common sense objections. This involves presupposing the existence of properties (or tropes, or universals) and relations between them which define the objective structure of the world. This paper explores the grounds for accepting this ontological assumption and examines a sceptical argument which questions whether, having assumed the world is objectively divided into fundamental properties, we (...)
  2. La Natura Delle Cose: Introduzione Ai Fondamenti E Alla Filosofia Della Fisica.Valia Allori, Mauro Dorato, Federico Laudisa & Nino Zanghi (eds.) - 2005 - Carocci.
    The year 2005 has been named the World Year of Physics in recognition of the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's "Miracle Year," in which he published four landmark papers which had deep and great influence on the last and the current century: quantum theory, general relativity, and statistical mechanics. Despite the enormous importance that Einstein’s discoveries played in these theories, most physicists adopt a version of quantum theory which is incompatible with the idea that motivated Einstein in the first place. (...)
  3. Essays in Ontology.D. P. B. - 1964 - Review of Metaphysics 17 (4):638-638.
  4. The Ontological Status of Truthmakers: An Alternative to Tractarianism and Metaphysical Anti-Realism.Murat Baç - 2003 - Metaphysica 4 (2):5-28.
    This paper aims to describe and defend a Pluralistic Kantian, as opposed to a Tractarian, version of realism vis-à-vis the ontological basis of truthmaking relations. One underlying assumption of my position is that propositional truth is a robust property and, consequently, is normatively distinct from epistemic justification. Still, it does not follow from this realist contention that truth is generated ontologically, viz., independently of cognitive and intensional contributions of human agents. This point brings my view notably close to H. Putnam’s (...)
  5. Hilary and Me: Tracking Down Putnam on the Realism Issue.Maria Baghramian & Michael Devitt - unknown
    The paper I gave at the Dublin conference celebrating Hilary Putnam’s 80th birthday was “Resurrecting Biological Essentialism” (2008). This was suitable for a celebratory event because it defended Putnam’s position on biological essentialism (1975) from the consensus in the philosophy of biology. This consensus has led to some severe criticisms of Putnam. Michael Ruse, for example, places Putnam, along with Saul Kripke and David Wiggins, “somewhere to the right of Aristotle” on essentialism and talks of them showing “an almost proud (...)
  6. A Metaphysics of Ordinary Things and Why We Need It.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2008 - Philosophy 83 (1):5-24.
    Metaphysics has enjoyed a vigorous revival in the last few decades. Even so, there has been little ontological interest in the things that we interact with everyday—trees, tables, other people.1 It is not that metaphysicians ignore ordinary things altogether. Indeed, they are happy to say that sentences like ‘The daffodils are out early this year’ or ‘My computer crashed again’ are true. But they take the truth of such sentences not to require that a full description of reality mention daffodils (...)
  7. Review of David Chalmers, David Manley, Ryan Wasserman (Eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology[REVIEW]Elizabeth Barnes - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (10).
  8. On the Ontology of Linguistic Frameworks Toward a Comprehensive Version of Empiricism.Majid Davoody Beni - 2015 - Philosophia Scientiae 19 (1):115-126.
    Can the abstract entities be designated? While the empiricists usually took the positive answer to this question as the first step toward Platonism, in his ``Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology’’ [Carnap 1950], Carnap tried to make a reconciliation between the language referring to abstract entities on the one hand, and empiricism on the other. In this paper, firstly, I show that the ingenuity of Carnap’s approach notwithstanding, it is prone to criticism from different aspects. But I also show how, even without (...)
  9. The World is Either Digital or Analogue.Francesco Berto & Jacopo Tagliabue - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3):481-497.
    We address an argument by Floridi (Synthese 168(1):151–178, 2009; 2011a), to the effect that digital and analogue are not features of reality, only of modes of presentation of reality. One can therefore have an informational ontology, like Floridi’s Informational Structural Realism, without commitment to a supposedly digital or analogue world. After introducing the topic in Sect. 1, in Sect. 2 we explain what the proposition expressed by the title of our paper means. In Sect. 3, we describe Floridi’s argument. In (...)
  10. Carnap, the Necessary a Priori, and Metaphysical Anti-Realism.Stephen Biggs & Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - In Stephen Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.), Ontology after Carnap. Oxford: pp. 81-104.
    In Meaning and Necessity (1947/1950), Carnap advances an intensional semantic framework on which modal claims are true in virtue of semantical rules alone, and so are a priori. In 'Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology' (1950), Carnap advances an epistemic-ontological framework on which metaphysical claims are either trivial or meaningless, since lacking any means of substantive confirmation. Carnap carried out these projects two decades before Kripke influentially argued, in Naming and Necessity (1972/1980), that some modal claims are true a posteriori. How should (...)
  11. Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism.Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.) - 2013 - Routledge.
    While the phrase "metaphysics of science" has been used from time to time, it has only recently begun to denote a specific research area where metaphysics meets philosophy of science—and the sciences themselves. The essays in this volume demonstrate that metaphysics of science is an innovative field of research in its own right. The principle areas covered are: The modal metaphysics of properties: What is the essential nature of natural properties? Are all properties essentially categorical? Are they all essentially dispositions, (...)
  12. The Incompletability of Metaphysics.James Blachowicz - 2010 - Idealistic Studies 40 (3):257-273.
    If a metaphysics identifies transcendental principles with formal principles, the inevitable result will be a reductionist collapse, that is, a theory of the nature of reality that will exclude as inessential significant differences among existing things. To avoid this result, we must take some such material differences as transcendental in nature. This produces a metaphysics in which the concept of ontological emergence is central—a metaphysics that will depend essentially on the material content of the natural sciences. While both Aristotle and (...)
  13. Ontology After Carnap.Stephan Blatti & Sandra Lapointe - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Analytic philosophy is once again in a methodological frame of mind. Nowhere is this more evident than in metaphysics, whose practitioners and historians are actively reflecting on the nature of ontological questions, the status of their answers, and the relevance of contributions both from other areas within philosophy and beyond. Such reflections are hardly new: the debate between Willard van Orman Quine and Rudolf Carnap about how to understand and resolve ontological questions is widely seen as a turning point in (...)
  14. Dharmakirti, Davidson, and Knowing Reality.Lajos Brons - 2013 - Comparative Philosophy 3 (1):30-57.
    If we distinguish phenomenal effects from their noumenal causes, the former being our conceptual(ized) experiences, the latter their grounds or causes in reality ‘as it is’ independent of our experience, then two contradictory positions with regards to the relationship between these two can be distinguished: either phenomena are identical with their noumenal causes, or they are not. Davidson is among the most influential modern defenders of the former position, metaphysical non-dualism. Dharmakīrti’s strict distinction between ultimate and conventional reality, on the (...)
  15. What Does It Mean for Something to Exist?Lajos L. Brons - 2013 - The Science of Mind 51 (1):53-74.
    (First paragraph.) Ontology is often described as the inquiry into what exists, but there is some disagreement among (meta-) ontologists about what “existence” means and whether there are different kinds or senses of “existence” or just one; that is, whether “existence” is equivocal or univocal. Furthermore, there is a growing number of philosophers (many of whom take inspiration from Aristotle’s metaphysical writings) who argue that ontology should not be concerned so much with what exists, but with what is fundamental or (...)
  16. Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology.Hans Burkhardt & Barry Smith (eds.) - 1991 - Philosophia Verlag.
    The Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology reflects the conviction that the history of metaphysics and current work in metaphysics and ontology can each throw valuable light on the other. Thus it is designed to serve both äs a means of making more widely accessible the results of recent scholarship in the history of philosophy, and also äs a unique work of reference in reladon to the metaphysical themes at the centre of much current debate in analyüc philosophy. The work contains (...)
  17. On the Impossibility of Metaphysics Without Ontology.Clark Butler - 1976 - Metaphilosophy 7 (2):116–132.
    This article defends linguistic descent in contrast to the possibility of linguistic ascent or the formal mode in metaphysics. We can go both ways, but metaphysics metaphysically defined presupposes metaphysics conceptualstically defined, which presupposes metaphysicas ontologially defined. Predicates implie abstract concepts (categories in metaphysics), and abstract oncepts presuppose the concrete qualities from which they are abstracted. A distinction is made between any quality and that which has the quality. This article contains a refutation of Kant on the ontological argument. Being, (...)
  18. Spotty Scope and Our Relation to Fictions.Tim Button - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2):243-58.
    Whatever the attractions of Tolkein's world, irrealists about fictions do not believe literally that Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit. Instead, irrealists believe that, according to The Lord of the Rings {Bilbo is a hobbit}. But when irrealists want to say something like “I am taller than Bilbo”, there is nowhere good for them to insert the operator “according to The Lord of the Rings”. This is an instance of the operator problem. In this paper, I outline and criticise Sainsbury's (2006) (...)
  19. Review: Baltzer, Erkenntnis Als Relationengeflecht, Kategorien Bei Charles S. Peirce. [REVIEW]H. G. Callaway - 1995 - Transactions of the C.S. Peirce Society (2):445-453.
    (Also titled "A Place for Peirce's Categories?"in Meaning without Analyticity.) This book arose from the author’s recent dissertation written under the Gerhard Schönrich at Munich. It focuses on Peirce’s theory of categories and his epistemology. According to Baltzer, what is distinctive in Peirce’s theory of knowledge is that he reconstrues objects as “knots in networks of relations.” The phrase may ring a bell. It suggests a structuralist interpretation of Peirce, influenced by the Munich environs. The study aims to shows how (...)
  20. How to Be a Realist About Sui Generis Teleology Yet Feel at Home in the 21st Century.Rich Cameron - 2004 - The Monist 87 (1):72-95.
    The reigning orthodoxy on biological teleology assumes that teleology either must be reduced (or eliminated) or it depends on a supernatural agent. The dominant orthodox sect rejects supernaturalism and eliminitivism, and, given the poverty of competing views has been allowed to become complacent about the adequacy of favored reductivist accounts. These are beset by more serious problems than proponents acknowledge. Moreover, the assumption underlying orthodoxy is false; there is an alternative scientifically and philosophically plausible naturalistic account of teleology. We can (...)
  21. Gabriel's Metaphysics of Sense.Taylor Carman - 2016 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 23:53-59.
  22. Would SNOMED CT Benefit From Realism-Based Ontology Evolution?Werner Ceusters, Kent Spackman & Barry Smith - 2007 - AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings 2007:105-109.
    If SNOMED CT is to serve as a biomedical reference terminology, then steps must be taken to ensure comparability of information formulated using successive versions. New releases are therefore shipped with a history mechanism. We assessed the adequacy of this mechanism for its treatment of the distinction between changes occurring on the side of entities in reality and changes in our understanding thereof. We found that these two types are only partially distinguished and that a more detailed study is required (...)
  23. Ontological Priority: The Conceptual Basis of Non-Eliminative, Ontic Structural Realism.Anjan Chakravartty - unknown
    The number of positions identified with structural realism in philosophical debates about scientific knowledge has grown significantly in the past decade, particularly with respect to the metaphysical or ‘ontic’ approach (OSR). In recent years, several advocates of OSR have proposed a novel understanding of it in order to side-step a serious challenge faced by its original formulation, eliminative OSR. I examine the conceptual basis of the new, noneliminative view, and conclude that it too faces a serious challenge, resulting in a (...)
  24. A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable.Anjan Chakravartty - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
    Scientific realism is the view that our best scientific theories give approximately true descriptions of both observable and unobservable aspects of a mind-independent world. Debates between realists and their critics are at the very heart of the philosophy of science. Anjan Chakravartty traces the contemporary evolution of realism by examining the most promising strategies adopted by its proponents in response to the forceful challenges of antirealist sceptics, resulting in a positive proposal for scientific realism today. He examines the core principles (...)
  25. Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology.D. Chalmers, D. Manley & R. Wasserman (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
  26. Ontological Anti-Realism.David J. Chalmers - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    The basic question of ontology is “What exists?”. The basic question of metaontology is: are there objective answers to the basic question of ontology? Here ontological realists say yes, and ontological anti-realists say no. (Compare: The basic question of ethics is “What is right?”. The basic question of metaethics is: are there objective answers to the basic question of ethics? Here moral realists say yes, and moral anti-realists say no.) For example, the ontologist may ask: Do numbers exist? The Platonist (...)
  27. A Less Simplistic Metaphysics: Peirce’s Layered Theory of Meaning as a Layered Theory of Being.Marc Champagne - 2015 - Sign Systems Studies 43 (4):523–552.
    This article builds on C. S. Peirce’s suggestive blueprint for an inclusive outlook that grants reality to his three categories. Moving away from the usual focus on (contentious) cosmological forces, I use a modal principle to partition various ontological layers: regular sign-action (like coded language) subsumes actual sign-action (like here-and-now events) which in turn subsumes possible sign-action (like qualities related to whatever would be similar to them). Once we realize that the triadic sign’s components are each answerable to this asymmetric (...)
  28. How to Take Realism Beyond Foot-Stamping.Hasok Chang - 2001 - Philosophy 76 (1):5-30.
    I propose a reformulation of realism, as the pursuit of ontological plausibility in our systems of knowledge. This is dubbed plausibility realism, for convenience of reference. Plausibility realism is non-empiricist, in the sense that it uses ontological plausibility as an independent criterion from empirical adequacy in evaluating systems of knowledge. Ontological plausibility is conceived as a precondition for intelligibility, nor for Truth; therefore, the function of plausibilty realism is to facilitate the kind of understanding that is not reducible to mere (...)
  29. A Realistic Theory of Categories: An Essay on Ontology.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    Roderick Chisholm has been for many years one of the most important and influential philosophers contributing to metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. This book can be viewed as a summation of his views on an enormous range of topics in metaphysics and epistemology. Yet it is written in the terse, lucid, unpretentious style that has become a hallmark of Chisholm's work. The book is an original treatise designed to defend an original, non-Aristotelian theory of categories. Chisholm argues that there (...)
  30. Roman Ingarden. Ontology From a Phenomenological Point of View.Arkadiusz Chrudzimski - 2004 - Reports on Philosophy 22:121-142.
    Ontology is doubtless the most important part of Roman Ingarden’s (1893-1970) philosophy. Contrary to Husserl, Ingarden always believed that any serious philosophical investigation must involve an ontological basis and he tried to formulate a solid ontological framework for his philosophy. There are several reasons why this ontology deserves our attention. For those who are interested in Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology, Ingarden’s ontology could be treated as an ingenious attempt to analyse the conceptual structure and hidden ontological assumptions of Husserl’s transcendental idealism. (...)
  31. Evolutionary Epistemology and Ontological Realism.A. J. Clark - 1984 - Philosophical Quarterly 34 (137):482-490.
  32. Devitt's Realism and Truth.Cleve James Van - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):657-663.
  33. It Ain’T Easy: Fictionalism, Deflationism, and Easy Arguments in Ontology.Gabriele Contessa - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):763-773.
    Fictionalism and deflationism are two moderate meta-ontological positions that try to occupy a middle ground between the extremes of heavy-duty realism and hard-line eliminativism. Deflationists believe that the existence of certain entities (e.g.: numbers) can be established by means of ‘easy’ arguments—arguments that, supposedly, rely solely on uncontroversial premises and trivial inferences. Fictionalists, however, find easy arguments unconvincing. Amie Thomasson has recently argued that, in their criticism of easy arguments, fictionalists beg the question against deflationism and that the fictionalist alternative (...)
  34. Does Your Metaphysics Need Structure?Gabriele Contessa - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):715-721.
    This paper is part of a book symposium on Theodore Sider's Writing the Book of the World.
  35. The Ontological Realism of Gustav Bergmann.Raul Corazzon - unknown
    "An ontology may be described as consisting of three kinds of statements: those that set the problems; those that list the kinds of entities that exist; those that show how the existents solve the problems. Ontologies may thus differ in different ways. The most decisive way concerns the kinds of entities deemed to exist. With respect to this way, there are but two types of ontology. One is lavish, cluttered; the other, frugal, sparse. The ontologies of Plato, Meinong, and Frege (...)
  36. Does a Parsimony Principle Entail a Simple World?Craig DeLancey - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):87-100.
    Many scholars claim that a parsimony principle has ontological implications. The most common such claim is that a parsimony principle entails that the “world” is simple. This ontological claim appears to often be coupled with the assumption that a parsimony principle would be corroborated if the “world” were simple. I clarify these claims, describe some minimal features of simplicity, and then show that both these claims are either false or they depend upon an implausible notion of simplicity. In their stead, (...)
  37. Ecology and Realist Ontology.Manuel DeLanda - 2009 - In Bernd Herzogenrath (ed.), Deleuze/Guattari & Ecology. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 23--41.
  38. Putnam’s Conception of Truth.Massimo Dell'Utri - 2016 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 12 (2):5-22.
    After stressing how the attempt to provide a plausible account of the connection between language and the world was one of Putnam’s constant preoccupations, this article describes the four stages his thinking about the concepts of truth and reality went through. Particular attention is paid to the kinds of problems that made him abandon each stage to enter the next. The analysis highlights how all the stages but one express a general non-epistemic stance towards truth and reality—the right stance, according (...)
  39. The Curious Case of Freeman Dyson and the Paranormal.Matthew Dentith - 2008 - Skeptic 14 (2).
    Michael Shermer recently attacked Freeman Dyson for putting forward the claim that there might be something in paranormal claims after all. Whilst I agree with Shermer on many points, I do think you can put forward a plausible theory as to why the Natural Sciences may not describe all phenomena, and that the undescribed phenomena might well be called 'paranormal' because of it. In this paper I will put forward the view that the language of the Natural Sciences may not (...)
  40. Kitcher’s Modest Realism: The Reconceptualization of Scientific Objectivity.Antonio Dieguez - 2010 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 101 (1):141-169.
    In Science, Truth, and Democracy (2001a), Kitcher moderates the strongest ontological realist thesis he defended in The Advancement of Science (1993a), with the aim of making compatible the correspondence theory of truth with conceptual relativity. However, it is not clear that both things could be harmonized. If our knowledge of the world is mediated by our categories and concepts; if the selection of these categories and concepts may vary according to our interests, and they are not the consequence of the (...)
  41. Sami Pihlström. Structuring the World: The Issue of Realism and the Nature of Ontological Problems in Classical and Contemporary Pragmatism. [REVIEW]Antonio Diéguez - 1999 - Theoria 14 (3):557-559.
  42. Adventures in the Metaontology of Art: Local Descriptivism, Artefacts and Dreamcatchers.Julian Dodd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1047-1068.
    Descriptivism in the ontology of art is the thesis that the correct ontological proposal for a kind of artwork cannot show the nascent ontological conception of such things embedded in our critical and appreciative practices to be substantially mistaken. Descriptivists believe that the kinds of revisionary art ontological proposals propounded by Nelson Goodman, Gregory Currie, Mark Sagoff, and me are methodologically misconceived. In this paper I examine the case that has been made for a local form of descriptivism in the (...)
  43. Pragmatist Metaphysics: An Essay on the Ethical Grounds of Ontology.Megan Doherty - 2011 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 32 (3):281-285.
    Pihlström’s book, Pragmatist Metaphysics, offers what he feels “no previous book-length study” (viii) has accomplished: as the title suggests, he sketches how metaphysics would look when done from a pragmatic perspective. This involves rejecting two assumptions: that metaphysics is necessarily “realistic” and that pragmatism is necessarily antimetaphysical. Taking his bearings from pragmatists both classic (e.g. Peirce, James, and Dewey) and contemporary (e.g. Putnam), he argues for a “pragmatic realism” that examines the basic characteristics of our human reality. A good primer (...)
  44. Invisible Disagreement: An Inverted Qualia Argument for Realism.Justin Donhauser - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):593-606.
    Scientific realists argue that a good track record of multi-agent, and multiple method, validation of empirical claims is itself evidence that those claims, at least partially and approximately, reflect ways nature actually is independent of the ways we conceptualize it. Constructivists contend that successes in validating empirical claims only suffice to establish that our ways of modelling the world, our “constructions,” are useful and adequate for beings like us. This essay presents a thought experiment in which beings like us intersubjectively (...)
  45. Laws of Nature and the Reality of the Wave Function.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3179-3201.
    In this paper I review three different positions on the wave function, namely: nomological realism, dispositionalism, and configuration space realism by regarding as essential their capacity to account for the world of our experience. I conclude that the first two positions are committed to regard the wave function as an abstract entity. The third position will be shown to be a merely speculative attempt to derive a primitive ontology from a reified mathematical space. Without entering any discussion about nominalism, I (...)
  46. Comments on 'Ontological Anti-Realism'.Cian Dorr - unknown
    In 1950, Quine inaugurated a strange new way of talking about philosophy. The hallmark of this approach is a propensity to take ordinary colloquial sentences that all of us utter routinely when we are not thinking about philosophy, or (more often) other sentences that very directly and obviously logically entail such sentences, and treat those sentences (i) as having a clear content, calling for little or no elucidation, and (ii) as proper objects of philosophical controversy. Questions like ‘are there numbers?’ (...)
  47. An Anonymous Question on the Unity of the Concept of Being.John Duns Scotus & Robert P. Prentice (eds.) - 1972 - Roma, Edizioni Francescane.
  48. Words, Pictures and Ontology: A Commentary on John Heil's From an Ontological Point of View.Heather Dyke - 2007 - SWIF Philosophy of Mind Review 6:31-41.
    The title of John Heil’s book From an Ontological Point of View is, of course, an adaptation of the title of Quine’s influential collection of essays From a Logical Point of View, published fifty years earlier in 1953. Quine’s book marked the beginning of a sea change in philosophy, away from ordinary language, armchair philosophising involving introspective examination of concepts, towards a more rigorous, analytical and scientific approach to answering philosophical questions. Heil’s book will, I think, mark the beginning of (...)
  49. The Ontology of Scientific Realism.Brian Ellis - 1987 - In J. J. C. Smart, Philip Pettit, Richard Sylvan & Jean Norman (eds.), Metaphysics and Morality: Essays in Honour of J.J.C. Smart. Blackwell.
  50. Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2011 - In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 143-159.
    The paper spells out five different accounts of the relationship between objects and relations three of which are versions of ontic structural realism. We argue that the distinction between objects and properties, including relations, is merely a conceptual one by contrast to an ontological one: properties, including relations, are modes, that is the concrete, particular ways in which objects exist. We then set out moderate OSR as the view according to which irreducible relations are central ways in which the fundamental (...)
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