Must Structural Realism Cover the Special Sciences?

In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 383--390 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Structural Realism (SR) is typically rated as a moderate realist doctrine about the ultimate entities of nature described by fundamental physics. Whether it must be extended to the higher-level special sciences is not so clear. In this short paper I argue that there is no need to ‘structuralize’ the special sciences. By mounting concrete examples I show that structural descriptions and structural laws certainly play a role in the special sciences, but that they don’t play any exclusive role nor that they give us any reason to believe that all that there is on the various levels is structure. I fortify my points by arguing that structures are global entities (in order for SR not to collapse into a bundle ontology) and that the assumption of higher-level structures as genuinely global or holistic entities is even more arcane.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is Structural Underdetermination Possible?Holger Lyre - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):235 - 247.
A Critical Analysis of Structural Realism.Wei Wang - 2008 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (2):294-306.
Recent Debates Over Structural Realism.Daniel McArthur - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2):209 - 224.
Group Structural Realism.Bryan W. Roberts - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):47-69.
Quantitative Probabilistic Causality and Structural Scientific Realism.Paul W. Humphreys - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:329 - 342.
Structural Realism.James Ladyman - 2014 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-01-27

Downloads
541 (#17,556)

6 months
34 (#32,188)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Holger Lyre
Otto von Guericke Universität, Magdeburg

Citations of this work

Robust Realism for the Life Sciences.Markus I. Eronen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2341-2354.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - In James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett & John Collier (eds.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
Real Patterns.Daniel Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.

View all 11 references / Add more references