Synthese 181 (3):433-450 (2011)

Authors
Benjamin Jantzen
Virginia Tech
Abstract
In a naïve realist approach to reading an ontology off the models of a physical theory, the invariance of a given theory under permutations of its property-bearing objects entails the existence of distinct possible worlds from amongst which the theory cannot choose. A brand of Ontic Structural Realism attempts to avoid this consequence by denying that objects possess primitive identity, and thus worlds with property values permuted amongst those objects are really one and the same world. Assuming that any successful ontology of objects is able to describe a universe containing a determinate number of them, I argue that no version of OSR which both retains objects and understands ‘structure’ in terms of relations can be successful. This follows from the fact that no set of relational facts is sufficient to fix the cardinality of the collection of objects implied by those facts. More broadly, I offer reasons to believe that no version of OSR is compatible with the existence of objects, no matter how ontologically derivative they are taken to be. Any such account would have to attribute a definite cardinality to a collection of objects while denying that those objects are possessed of a primitive identity. With no compelling reason to abandon the classical conception of cardinality, such an attribution is incoherent
Keywords Cardinality  Identity  Indistinguishability  Hole argument  OSR  Quantum particles  Space time points  Structural realism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-010-9717-3
Options
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: 62,242
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

A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
The Analysis of Matter.Bertrand Russell - 1927 - London: Kegan Paul.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Symmetries and Paraparticles as a Motivation for Structuralism.Adam Caulton & Jeremy Butterfield - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):233-285.
Entities Without Intrinsic Physical Identity.Vincent Lam - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1157-1171.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-02-24

Total views
119 ( #88,734 of 2,444,869 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #232,731 of 2,444,869 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes