Kerry McKenzie
University of California, San Diego
In this article, I address concerns that the ontological priority claims definitive of ontic structural realism are as they stand unclear, and I do so by placing these claims on a more rigorous formal footing than they typically have been hitherto. I first of all argue that Kit Fine’s analysis of ontological dependence furnishes us with an ontological priority relation that is particularly apt for structuralism. With that in place, and with reference to two case studies prominent within the structuralist literature, I consider whether any of structuralism’s distinctive priority claims may be regarded as warranted. The discussion as a whole has largely negative implications for the radical structuralism of French and Ladyman (including their ‘eliminativist’ interpretation of it), largely positive implications for the moderate structuralism primarily advocated by Esfeld and Lam, and some broad lessons for contemporary fundamentalist metaphysics as a whole. 1 Introduction2 The Right Priority Relation for Structuralism: Supervenience or Dependence?3 Introducing Ontological Dependence4 Fine’s System5 The Priority of Structure 1: Entangled Quantum Particles6 The Priority of Structure 2: The Group-Theoretic Conception of Elementary Particles7 Concluding Remarks
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axt017
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fundamentality and Ontological Minimality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press. pp. 237-253.
Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Structuralism in the Idiom of Determination.Kerry McKenzie - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):497-522.
Relativities of Fundamentality.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:89-99.

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