Ontic structural realism as a metaphysics of objects

In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 143-159 (2011)
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Abstract

The paper spells out five different accounts of the relationship between objects and relations three of which are versions of ontic structural realism. We argue that the distinction between objects and properties, including relations, is merely a conceptual one by contrast to an ontological one: properties, including relations, are modes, that is the concrete, particular ways in which objects exist. We then set out moderate OSR as the view according to which irreducible relations are central ways in which the fundamental physical objects exist. Physical structures thus consist in objects for whom it is essential that they are related in certain ways. There hence are objects, but they do not possess an intrinsic identity. This view can also admit intrinsic properties as ways in which objects exist provided that these do not amount to identity conditions for the objects. Finally, we indicate how this view can take objective modality into account.

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Vincent Lam
University of Bern

Citations of this work

Priority and Particle Physics: Ontic Structural Realism as a Fundamentality Thesis.Kerry McKenzie - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):353-380.
Structuralism in the Idiom of Determination.Kerry McKenzie - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):497-522.
Fundamentality and Ontological Minimality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure: Essays in Fundamentality. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 237-253.
Ontic Structural Realism.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (4):e12399.

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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.
The metaphysics within physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
From an ontological point of view.John Heil - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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