Ontic Structural Realism and the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles

Erkenntnis 75 (1):67-84 (2011)
Recently, there has been a debate as to whether or not the principle of the identity of indiscernibles (the PII) is compatible with quantum physics. It is also sometimes argued that the answer to this question has implications for the debate over the tenability of ontic structural realism (OSR). The central aim of this paper is to establish what relationship there is (if any) between the PII and OSR. It is argued that one common interpretation of OSR is undermined if the PII turns out to be false, since it is committed to a version of the bundle theory of objects, which implies the PII. However, if OSR is understood as the physical analogue of (sophisticated) mathematical structuralism then OSR does not imply the PII. It is further noted that it is (arguably) a virtue of OSR that it is compatible with a version of the PII for possible worlds
Keywords Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Ontology   Logic   Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-011-9279-x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Vincent Lam (2013). The Entanglement Structure of Quantum Field Systems. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):59 - 72.
Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld (2013). A Dilemma for the Emergence of Spacetime in Canonical Quantum Gravity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):286-293.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam (2011). Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 143-159.
Décio Krause (2005). Structures and Structural Realism. Logic Journal of the IGPL 13 (1):113-126.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

228 ( #14,435 of 1,924,984 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

17 ( #36,272 of 1,924,984 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.