Epistemic Structural Realism and Poincaré’s Philosophy of Science

Authors
Elise Marie Crull
City College of New York
Katherine Brading
Duke University
Abstract
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 clearer picture of Poincare's position regarding structuralism, but also two arguments for versions of epistemic structuralism different in kind from that given by Worrall
Keywords Structural Realism  Worrall  Poincare
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1086/691138
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