Barren Worlds: The Scientific Image of Ontic Structural Realism

Disputatio 14 (65):65-90 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This work explores issues with the eliminativist formulation of ontic structural realism. An ontology that totally eliminates objects is found lacking by arguing, first, that the theoretical frameworks used to support the best arguments against an object-oriented ontology (quantum mechanics, relativity theory, quantum field theory) can be seen in every case as physical models of empty worlds, and therefore do not represent all the information that comes from science, and in particular from fundamental physics, which also includes information about local interactions between objects. Secondly, by giving a critical assessment of the role of symmetries in these fundamental physical theories; and, lastly, by warning about unfounded metaphysical assumptions. An argument is made for a moderate form of structural realism instead, one in which objects play the fundamental role of representing symmetries and bearing their conserved charges, and of participating in the network of interactions observed in the world.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,698

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Structural Metaphysics of Quantum Theory and General Relativity.Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):243-258.
Ontic structural realism and quantum field theory: Are there intrinsic properties at the most fundamental level of reality?Philipp Berghofer - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:176-188.
Effective Ontic Structural Realism.James Ladyman & Lorenzo Lorenzetti - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Ontic structural realism and the interpretation of quantum mechanics.Michael Esfeld - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):19-32.


Added to PP

23 (#688,627)

6 months
11 (#349,679)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Federico Benitez
University of Lausanne

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

Every thing must go: metaphysics naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Don Ross, David Spurrett & John G. Collier.
Realism, Mathematics & Modality.Hartry H. Field - 1989 - New York, NY, USA: Blackwell.

View all 72 references / Add more references