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  1. The Semantic View, If Plausible, Is Syntactic.Hans Halvorson - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (3):475-478.
    Halvorson argues that the semantic view of theories leads to absurdities. Glymour shows how to inoculate the semantic view against Halvorson's criticisms, namely by making it into a syntactic view of theories. I argue that this modified semantic-syntactic view cannot do the philosophical work that the original "language-free" semantic view was supposed to do.
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  2. What Scientific Theories Could Not Be.Hans Halvorson - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):183-206.
    According to the semantic view of scientific theories, theories are classes of models. I show that this view -- if taken seriously as a formal explication -- leads to absurdities. In particular, this view equates theories that are truly distinct, and it distinguishes theories that are truly equivalent. Furthermore, the semantic view lacks the resources to explicate interesting theoretical relations, such as embeddability of one theory into another. The untenability of the semantic view -- as currently formulated -- threatens to (...)
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  3. More Worries for Structural Realism: A Dilemma From the Relativized a Priori.Milena Ivanova - manuscript
    I examine implications for structural realism of Michael Friedman’s view about relativized a priori principles. Friedman's argument implies that there is structural preservation of constitutive principles in theory change, which suggests that the structural realist should be committed to these principles, given that they satisfy her criterion of ontological commitment. Since these principles are not regarded as representing physical structure, I argue that a dilemma arises for the structural realist. Either a distinction between mathematical structures that represent and mathematical structures (...)
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  4. The Metaphysics of Invariance.David Schroeren - manuscript
    Fundamental physics contains an important link between properties of elementary particles and continuous symmetries of particle systems. For example, properties such as mass and spin are said to be 'associated' with specific continuous symmetries. -/- These 'associations' have played a key role in the discovery of various new particle kinds, but more importantly: they are thought to provide a deep insight into the nature of physical reality. The link between properties and symmetries has been said to call for a radical (...)
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  5. Survey of Structuralism in the Natural Sciences.Ioannis Votsis - manuscript
    This chapter traces the development of structural realism within the scientific realism debate and the wider current of structuralism that has swept the philosophy of the natural sciences in the twentieth century.1 The primary aim is to make perspicuous the many manifestations of structural realism and their underlying claims. Among other things, I will compare structural realism’s various manifestations in order to throw more light onto the relations between them. At the end of the chapter, I will identify the main (...)
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  6. Newman’s Objection is Dead; Long Live Newman’s Objection!Sebastian Lutz - 2017
    There are two ways of reading Newman’s objection to Russell’s structuralism. One assumes that according to Russell, our knowledge of a theory about the external world is captured by an existential generalization on all non-logical symbols of the theory. Under this reading, our knowledge amounts to a cardinality claim. Another reading assumes that our knowledge singles out a structure in Russell’s (and Newman’s) sense: a model theoretic structure that is determined up to isomorphism. Under this reading, our knowledge is far (...)
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  7. Points, Particles and Structural Realism’.Oliver Pooley with Ian Gibson - manuscript
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  8. Mathematical Structural Realism.Author unknown - manuscript
    Forthcoming in A. Bokulich & P. Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Springer. Abstract: Epistemic structural realists have argued that we are in a better epistemic position with respect to the structural claims made by our theories than the non-structural claims. Critics have objected that we cannot make the structure/non-structure distinction precise. I respond that a focus on mathematical structure leads to a clearer understanding of this debate. Unfortunately for the structural realist, however, the contribution (...)
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  9. What is Matter? The Fundamental Ontology of Atomism and Structural Realism.Michael Esfeld, Dirk-André Deckert & Andrea Oldofredi - forthcoming - In B. Lower and A. Ijjas (ed.), A guide to the philosophy of Cosmology. Oxford University Press.
    We set out a fundamental ontology of atomism in terms of matter points. While being most parsimonious, this ontology is able to match both classical and quantum mechanics, and it remains a viable option for any future theory of cosmology that goes beyond current quantum physics. The matter points are structurally individuated: all there is to them are the spatial relations in which they stand; neither a commitment to intrinsic properties nor to an absolute space is required. The spatial relations (...)
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  10. Duhem and Scientific Realism.Maryam Ghasemi Naraghi - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
  11. Pluralist Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds?David Glick - forthcoming - Synthese.
    John Worrall (1989) famously claimed that structural realism is the best of both worlds; it enables one to endorse the best arguments for scientific realism and antirealism. In this paper, I argue that structural realism also enables one to combine two other seemingly inconsistent positions: realism and pluralism. Indeed, the very features which form the basis of the structural realist’s reply to the problem of theory change may be applied synchronically to allow for a pluralist structural realism. The resulting position (...)
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  12. Structures, Objects and Causality.Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.) - forthcoming - Springer.
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  13. Introduction: Contemporary Scientific Realism and the Challenge From the History of Science.Timothy D. Lyons & Peter Vickers - forthcoming - In Timothy D. Lyons & Peter Vickers (eds.), Contemporary Scientific Realism: The Challenge from the History of Science.
  14. The Relativity of Theory by Moti Mizrahi: Reply by the Author.Moti Mizrahi - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
  15. Quantum Entanglement Undermines Structural Realism.Seungbae Park - forthcoming - Metaphysica.
    Quantum entanglement poses a challenge to the traditional metaphysical view that an extrinsic property of an object is determined by its intrinsic properties. So structural realists might be tempted to cite quantum entanglement as evidence for structural realism. I argue, however, that quantum entanglement undermines structural realism. If we classify two entangled electrons as a single system, we can say that their spin properties are intrinsic properties of the system, and that we can have knowledge about these intrinsic properties. Specifically, (...)
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  16. What is Really Wrong with Ontic Structural Realism? On the Possibility of Reading Off Ontology From Current Fundamental Science.Haktan Akcin - 2019 - Beytulhikme An International Journal of Philosophy 9 (9:3):597-608.
    I argue that the central conflict between epistemic and ontic versions of structural realism concerns whether it is possible to read off ontology from current fundamental science. Even if we assume that structures are metaphysically superior to objects, the possibility of reading off ontology from current fundamental science remains unjustified. I show that the conclusion as regards to the reading off ontology in the ontic version is already assumed in one of the premises; hence the argument begs the question. As (...)
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  17. Un mundo de estructuras: Simetrías Grupo-Teóricas desde el Realismo Infoestructural.Javier Anta - 2019 - Metatheoria 10 (1):1-11.
    Ontic Structural Realism, as pivotal position in philosophy of science and metaphysics, defends the idea that the world is ultimately constituted of real physical structures. French (2014) regards physical symmetries as the foundational structure of a world without objects. On the other hand, Ladyman and Ross (2007) hold that the world is essentially made of non-redundant informational structure. I argue in this paper that these two positions are by no means incompatible, for instance by interpreting French’s physical symmetries as real (...)
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  18. Structural Realism or Modal Empiricism?Quentin Ruyant - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1051-1072.
    Structural realism has been suggested as the best compromise in the debate on scientific realism. It proposes that we should be realist about the relational structure of the world, not its nature. However, it faces an important objection, first raised by Newman against Russell: if relations are not qualified, then the position is either trivial or collapses into empiricism, but if relations are too strongly qualified, then it is no longer SR. A way to overcome this difficulty is to talk (...)
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  19. Structuralism as a Response to Skepticism.David J. Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (12):625-660.
    Cartesian arguments for global skepticism about the external world start from the premise that we cannot know that we are not in a Cartesian scenario such as an evil-demon scenario, and infer that because most of our empirical beliefs are false in such a scenario, these beliefs do not constitute knowledge. Veridicalist responses to global skepticism respond that arguments fail because in Cartesian scenarios, many or most of our empirical beliefs are true. Some veridicalist responses have been motivated using verificationism, (...)
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  20. Worrall Zu Theorienunterbestimmtheit Und Strukturenrealismus: Wirklich Kein Problem?Holger Leerhoff - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):27-52.
    In the debate of scientific realism, the argument from underdetermination of theories by evidence is put forward by the anti-realist side. According to this argument, for any scientific theory rival theories can be found which are equally well supported by the evidence but incompatible with the original theory. Structural realism is a form of realism that limits the realistic belief in the existence of the entities and structures talked about in scientific theories: Only the structures of reality are relevant in (...)
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  21. On the Epistemological Potential of Worrall's Structural Realism.Federica Isabella Malfatti - 2018 - Philosophical Inquiries 2 (VI):9-24.
    Structural realism à-la-Worrall is the view that inasmuch as our scientific theories provide us with (partially) adequate descriptions of an objective and independent reality, they do so by shedding light on the way this reality is in itself structured, and not on the so-called nature of existing objects. This position seems to imply that there is something about reality that lies beyond our grasp. I will reconstruct and shed new light onto Worrall’s position and show that, contrary to how it (...)
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  22. From Ontic Structural Realism to Metaphysical Coherentism.Matteo Morganti - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):1-20.
    The present paper argues that the typical structuralist claims according to which invariances, symmetries and the like are fundamental – especially in physics – should not be understood in terms of physical relations being fundamental. Rather, they should be understood in terms of ‘metaphysical coherentism’ - the idea that object-like parts of reality exhibit symmetric relations of ontological dependence. The view is developed in some detail, in particular by showing that i) symmetric ontological dependence does not necessarily lead to uninformative (...)
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  23. Fundamentality and Ontological Minimality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press. pp. 237-253.
    In this chapter, a generic definition of fundamentality as an ontological minimality thesis is sought and its applicability examined. Most discussions of fundamentality are focused on a mereological understanding of the hierarchical structure of reality, which may be combined with an atomistic, object-oriented metaphysics. But recent work in structuralism, for instance, calls for an alternative understanding and it is not immediately clear that the conception of fundamentality at work in structuralism is commensurable with the mereological conception. However, it is proposed (...)
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  24. Inverse Functionalism and the Individuation of Powers.David Yates - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4525-4550.
    In the pure powers ontology (PPO), basic physical properties have wholly dispositional essences. PPO has clear advantages over categoricalist ontologies, which suffer from familiar epistemological and metaphysical problems. However, opponents argue that because it contains no qualitative properties, PPO lacks the resources to individuate powers, and generates a regress. The challenge for those who take such arguments seriously is to introduce qualitative properties without reintroducing the problems that PPO was meant to solve. In this paper, I distinguish the core claim (...)
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  25. Reconstructing the Upward Path to Structural Realism.Majid Beni - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):393-409.
    In his Analysis of Matter, Russell advocated an epistemic form of Epistemic Structural Realism which held that our knowledge of the external world is structural. This approach has been criticised by M.H.A. Newman, 137–148, 1928) and Stathis Psillos, S13–S24, 2001). The paper aims to reconstruct Russell’s version of ESR, and defend its experimental and philosophical plausibility. The basic assumption is that without getting a viable experimental handle on the linkage between the structure of perceptions and causal structure of the stimuli, (...)
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  26. The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
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  27. Epistemic Structural Realism and Poincare's Philosophy of Science.Katherine Brading & Elise Crull - 2017 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (1):108-129.
    Recent discussions of structuralist approaches to scientific theories have stemmed primarily from Worrall's, in which he defends a position whose historical roots he attributes to Poincare. In the renewed debate inspired by Worrall, it is thus not uncommon to find Poincare's name associated with various structuralist positions. However, Poincare's structuralism is deeply entwined with both his conventionalism and his idealism, and in this paper we explore the nature of these dependencies. What comes out in the end is not only a (...)
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  28. Particles, Causation, and the Metaphysics of Structure.Anjan Chakravartty - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2273-2289.
    I consider the idea of a structure of fundamental physical particles being causal. Causation is traditionally thought of as involving relations between entities—objects or events—that cause and are affected. On structuralist interpretations, however, it is unclear whether or how precisely fundamental particles can be causally efficacious. On some interpretations, only relations exist; on others, particles are ontologically dependent on their relations in ways that problematize the traditional picture. I argue that thinking about causal efficacy in this context generates an inevitable (...)
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  29. Retaining Structure: A Relativistic Perspective.Jean-Michel Delhôtel - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (2):239-256.
    Retention of structure across theory change has been invoked in support of a ‘structural’ alternative to more traditional entity-based scientific realism. In that context the transition from Newtonian mechanics to the Special Theory of Relativity is often regarded as a very significant instance of structural preservation, or retention, associated with correspondence-based recovery. The joint derivation, from a small set of elementary and ontologically neutral assumptions, of both the Galilei and the Lorentz transformation exemplifies the virtues of structural approaches to the (...)
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  30. Realism and its Representational Vehicles.Steven French - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3311-3326.
    In this essay I shall focus on the adoption of the Semantic Approach by structural realists, including myself, who have done so on the grounds that it wears its structuralist sympathies on its sleeve. Despite this, the SA has been identified as standing in tension with the ontological commitments of the so-called ’ontic’ form of this view and so I shall explore that tension before discussing the usefulness of the SA in framing scientific representation and concluding with a discussion of (...)
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  31. Generalism and the Metaphysics of Ontic Structural Realism.David Glick - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy008.
    Ontic structural realism (OSR) claims that all there is to the world is structure. But how can this slogan be turned into a worked-out metaphysics? Here I consider one potential answer: a metaphysical framework known as generalism (Dasgupta, 2009, 2016). According to the generalist, the most fundamental description of the world is not given in terms of individuals bearing properties, but rather, general facts about which states of affairs obtain. However, I contend that despite several apparent similarities between the positions, (...)
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  32. The Metaphysics of Relations, Edited by Anna Marmodoro and David Yates. [REVIEW]Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):123–130.
    The Metaphysics of Relations is an anthology of thirteen original papers plus an introduction, addressing the philosophical issue of relations from a contemporary and historical perspective. The result is a remarkably coherent whole, where the different papers shed light on each other even though very few of them explicitly address interconnections. As a consequence, the book works really well as an introduction to the philosophical issue on relations, while the individual papers represent cutting edge research on the particular issues that (...)
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  33. Ontic Structural Realism.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (4):e12399.
    Ontic structural realism is at its core the view that “structure is ontologically fundamental.” Informed from its inception by the scientific revolutions that punctuated the 20th century, its advocates often present the position as the perspective on ontology best befitting of modern physics. But the idea that structure is fundamental has proved difficult to articulate adequately, and what OSR's claimed naturalistic credentials consist in is hard to precisify as well. Nor is it clear that the position is actually supported by (...)
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  34. Newman’s Objection and the No Miracles Argument.Robert Smithson - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):993-1014.
    Structural realists claim that we should endorse only what our scientific theories say about the structure of the unobservable world. But according to Newman’s Objection, the structural realist’s claims about unobservables are trivially true. In recent years, several theorists have offered responses to Newman’s Objection. But a common complaint is that these responses “give up the spirit” of the structural realist position. In this paper, I will argue that the simplest way to respond to Newman’s Objection is to return to (...)
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  35. Brain Networks, Structural Realism, and Local Approaches to the Scientific Realism Debate.Karen Yan & Jonathon Hricko - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 64:1-10.
    We examine recent work in cognitive neuroscience that investigates brain networks. Brain networks are characterized by the ways in which brain regions are functionally and anatomically connected to one another. Cognitive neuroscientists use various noninvasive techniques (e.g., fMRI) to investigate these networks. They represent them formally as graphs. And they use various graph theoretic techniques to analyze them further. We distinguish between knowledge of the graph theoretic structure of such networks (structural knowledge) and knowledge of what instantiates that structure (nonstructural (...)
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  36. Structural Realist Account of the Self.Majid Beni - 2016 - Synthese 193 (12):3727-3740.
    In this paper, inspired by the late twentieth century developments in philosophy of science, I propose an ontological scheme to accommodate the scientifically-informed anti-substantivalist views of the self. I call the position structural realist theory of the self. More specifically, I argue that SRS provides a middle ground for bringing a metaphysical reconciliation between the two recurring, and apparently competing forms of such anti-substantivalist views, i.e., eliminativism and pluralism. The notion of the structural self, as the underpinning pattern that is (...)
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  37. The Physical World as a Blob: Is OSR Really Realism?: Steven French: The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation. Oxford: OUP, 2014, 416pp, ₤50.00 HB.Mauro Dorato - 2016 - Metascience 25 (2):173-181.
    In my review of Steven French's The structure of the world. Metaphysics & Representation. OUP, Oxford, 2014 I argue that the author is forced to navigate between the Scilla of Tegmark’s Pitagoreanism (2008) and the Carybdis of “blobobjectivism” (Horgan and Potrč 2008), namely the claim that the whole physical universe is a single concrete structurally complex but partless cosmos (a “blob”).
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  38. The Ontology of Quantum Field Theory: Structural Realism Vindicated?David Glick - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:78-86.
    In this paper I elicit a prediction from structural realism and compare it, not to a historical case, but to a contemporary scientific theory. If structural realism is correct, then we should expect physics to develop theories that fail to provide an ontology of the sort sought by traditional realists. If structure alone is responsible for instrumental success, we should expect surplus ontology to be eliminated. Quantum field theory (QFT) provides the framework for some of the best confirmed theories in (...)
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  39. The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation.Lisa Leininger - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):655-658.
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  40. Structural Realism Versus Deployment Realism: A Comparative Evaluation.Timothy D. Lyons - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:95-105.
    In this paper I challenge and adjudicate between the two positions that have come to prominence in the scientific realism debate: deployment realism and structural realism. I discuss a set of cases from the history of celestial mechanics, including some of the most important successes in the history of science. To the surprise of the deployment realist, these are novel predictive successes toward which theoretical constituents that are now seen to be patently false were genuinely deployed. Exploring the implications for (...)
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  41. 5. Complex Structures and Ontic Atoms.D. W. Mertz - 2016 - In On the Elements of Ontology: Attribute Instances and Structure. De Gruyter. pp. 231-290.
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  42. Scientific Modelling in Generative Grammar and the Dynamic Turn in Syntax.Ryan Nefdt - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (5):357-394.
    In this paper, I address the issue of scientific modelling in contemporary linguistics, focusing on the generative tradition. In so doing, I identify two common varieties of linguistic idealisation, which I call determination and isolation respectively. I argue that these distinct types of idealisation can both be described within the remit of Weisberg’s :639–659, 2007) minimalist idealisation strategy in the sciences. Following a line set by Blutner :27–35, 2011), I propose this minimalist idealisation analysis for a broad construal of the (...)
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  43. Bohm's Approach and Individuality.Paavo Pylkkänen, Basil Hiley & Ilkka Pättiniemi - 2016 - In Alexandre Guay & Thomas Pradeu (eds.), Individuals Across the Sciences. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Ladyman and Ross argue that quantum objects are not individuals and use this idea to ground their metaphysical view, ontic structural realism, according to which relational structures are primary to things. LR acknowledge that there is a version of quantum theory, namely the Bohm theory, according to which particles do have denite trajectories at all times. However, LR interpret the research by Brown et al. as implying that "raw stuff" or haecceities are needed for the individuality of particles of BT, (...)
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  44. Le réalisme structural face au problème de la mesure.Quentin Ruyant - 2016 - Lato Sensu, Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 3 (1):43-51.
    Le réalisme structural est une tentative d’établir un compromis entre le réalisme scientifique et l’empirisme, en restreignant le réalisme à la structure relationnelle des théories scientifiques. Il se décline en deux versions, épistémique et ontique. Le réalisme structural ontique propose de concevoir les relations nomologiques décrites par les théories comme des éléments primitifs de la réalité. Il est motivé, notamment, par le fait que sous sa forme épistémique, le réalisme structural ne se distingue pas réellement d’une position empiriste. Cependant, il (...)
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  45. Scientific Realism, the Semantic View and Evolutionary Biology.Fabio Sterpetti - 2016 - In Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.), Models and Inferences in Science. Springer. pp. 55-76.
    The semantic view of theories is normally considered to be an ac-count of theories congenial to Scientific Realism. Recently, it has been argued that Ontic Structural Realism could be fruitfully applied, in combination with the semantic view, to some of the philosophical issues peculiarly related to bi-ology. Given the central role that models have in the semantic view, and the relevance that mathematics has in the definition of the concept of model, the fo-cus will be on population genetics, which is (...)
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  46. Structural Realism - the Search for a Bearer of Reality.Milutin Stojanovic - 2016 - Filozofija I Društvo 27 (3):610-624.
    In the last two decades the old debate concerning reality of science shifted from questions regarding scientific entities to questions regarding scientific structures. I will present and assess advantages and drawback of this new realists? focus on structures, and at the same time analyze the wider picture of development of the scientific realism. The structural realism will be tackled in the form encountered in works of John Worrall and James Ladyman. Special attention will be devoted to the relationship of their (...)
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  47. Structural Realism Beyond Physics.Dana Tulodziecki - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:106--114.
    The main purpose of this paper is to test structural realism against (one example from) the historical record. I begin by laying out an existing challenge to structural realism -- that of providing an example of a theory exhibiting successful structures that were abandoned -- and show that this challenge can be met by the miasma theory of disease. However, rather than concluding that this is an outright counterexample to structural realism, I use this case to show why it is (...)
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  48. Quantization as a Guide to Ontic Structure.Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):89-114.
    The ontic structural realist stance is motivated by a desire to do philosophical justice to the success of science, whilst withstanding the metaphysical undermining generated by the various species of ontological underdetermination. We are, however, as yet in want of general principles to provide a scaffold for the explicit construction of structural ontologies. Here we will attempt to bridge this gap by utilizing the formal procedure of quantization as a guide to ontic structure of modern physical theory. The example of (...)
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  49. Structural Realism and the Nature of Structure.Jonas R. Becker Arenhart & Otávio Bueno - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):111-139.
    Ontic Structural Realism is a version of realism about science according to which by positing the existence of structures, understood as basic components of reality, one can resolve central difficulties faced by standard versions of scientific realism. Structures are invoked to respond to two important challenges: one posed by the pessimist meta-induction and the other by the underdetermination of metaphysics by physics, which arises in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. We argue that difficulties in the proper understanding of what a structure is (...)
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  50. Alisa Bokulich and Peter Bokulich : Scientific Structuralism : Springer, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London, New York, 182 + XVII P, 2011.Dimitri Ginev - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):681-687.
    In drawing on Poincare’s conventionalism, Cassirer’s neo-Kantianism, Duhem’s methodological conservatism, and Russell’s holist doctrine of scientific knowledge, Worrall (1989) launched in his classical paper a new position in realism debate. The champions of structural realism have managed to combine a sense in which the development of science is cumulative with a picture of theory change that coheres with the argument of the “pessimistic meta-induction”. Twenty two years after the publication of Worrall’s paper, the volume under review presents an exciting recapitulation (...)
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