In Alexandre Guay & Thomas Pradeu (eds.), Individuals Across the Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 207-225 (2015)

David Glick
University of California, Davis
The ways in which space-time points and elementary particles are modeled share a curious feature: neither seems to specify which basic object has which properties. This chapter sketches the motivation for this claim and searches for an explanation for it. After reviewing several proposals, it argues for a view according to which objects occupy their place in a given relational structure essentially. This view, which is termed minimal structural essentialism, provides a metaphysical grounding for the physical equivalence of models related by permutation. An interesting consequence of this position is that space-time points and elemental particles turn out to be individuals, albeit of a rather different sort than has traditionally been considered.
Keywords structural realism  permutation invariance  hole argument
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
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: 70,337
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

Generalism and the Metaphysics of Ontic Structural Realism.David Glick - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy008.
Generalism and the Metaphysics of Ontic Structural Realism.David Glick - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):751-772.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Points, Particles, and Structural Realism.Oliver Pooley - 2005 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha T. Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Oxford University Press. pp. 83--120.
Is Structural Underdetermination Possible?Holger Lyre - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):235 - 247.
Kinds of Objects and Varieties of Properties.Antigone M. Nounou - forthcoming - In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structures, Objects and Causality. Springer.
No Two Entities Without Identity.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2011 - Synthese 181 (3):433-450.
Group Structural Realism.Bryan W. Roberts - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):47-69.
The Modal Nature of Structures in Ontic Structural Realism.Michael Esfeld - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194.
Ontic Structuralism and the Symmetries of Particle Physics.Aharon Kantorovich - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):73-84.


Added to PP index

Total views
23 ( #493,065 of 2,507,897 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #276,895 of 2,507,897 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes