Physics appears to be in a unique position to withstand antirealist attacks, especially ‘pessimistic induction’ arguments. Such resilience provides an incentive for embracing a ‘structural’ variant of scientific realism. Nevertheless, an examination of the physics-mathematics relationship suggests that whatever determines the success of modelling endeavours lends scant support to structural realism. A closer look at conceptual prerequisites of joint ab initio derivations of (i) Galilean and ‘special’ relativity theories and (ii) classical and ‘quantal’ probabilistic frameworks also fosters scepticism about a major claim of structural realists: that mathematical features of theoretical frameworks – those, in particular, which determine their predictive efficiency – are ultimately rooted in ‘structural’ aspects of the natural world. Further concerns with the central tenets of structural realism are finally briefly addressed, and the question of possible non-instrumentalist alternatives is raised.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,916
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Structural Realism: Continuity and its Limits.Ioannis Votsis - 2009 - In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 105--117.
Group Structural Realism.Bryan W. Roberts - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):47-69.
Mathematical Structural Realism.Author unknown - manuscript
Structural Realism.James Ladyman - 2014 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
Recent Debates Over Structural Realism.Daniel McArthur - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):209 - 224.


Added to PP index

Total views
31 ( #342,143 of 2,433,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #462,722 of 2,433,176 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes