A defence of informational structural realism

Synthese 161 (2):219-253 (2008)

Abstract
This is the revised version of an invited keynote lecture delivered at the "1st Australian Computing and Philosophy Conference". The paper is divided into two parts. The first part defends an informational approach to structural realism. It does so in three steps. First, it is shown that, within the debate about structural realism, epistemic and ontic structural realism are reconcilable. It follows that a version of OSR is defensible from a structuralist-friendly position. Second, it is argued that a version of OSR is also plausible, because not all relata are logically prior to relations. Third, it is shown that a version of OSR is also applicable to both sub-observable and observable entities, by developing its ontology of structural objects in terms of informational objects. The outcome is informational structural realism, a version of OSR supporting the ontological commitment to a view of the world as the totality of informational objects dynamically interacting with each other. The paper has been discussed by several colleagues and, in the second half, ten objections that have been moved to the proposal are answered in order to clarify it further.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Language   Metaphysics   Epistemology   Logic
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Reprint years 2008
DOI 10.1007/s11229-007-9163-z
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References found in this work BETA

What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
The Social Construction of What?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2011 - In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 143-159.
The Modal Nature of Structures in Ontic Structural Realism.Michael Esfeld - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194.
The Informational Nature of Personal Identity.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (4):549-566.

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The Informational Nature of Personal Identity.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (4):549-566.

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