Structures as Relations

Synthese 198 (Suppl 11):S2671-S2690 (2021)
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Abstract

I shall explore in this article the hypothesis that structures are relations between the components of complex entities. After having introduced hylomorphism, its major advantages and the major views of the nature of structures, I shall introduce the distinctions between external and internal relations and the one between symmetrical and non-symmetrical relations. I shall also describe the theory of non-symmetrical relations that I accept, i.e., the O-Roles theory, as most structures seem to be external and non-symmetrical relations. Later on, I shall develop my hypothesis and I shall deal with one objection, i.e., that relations necessarily come together with Bradley's vicious regress. Finally, I shall also hypothesize that complex entities are different from structures and from their structured components. In this respect, I shall defend a " simple view " of complex entities. Dwelling on this view, I shall also reply to some recent objections against hylomorphism.

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Michele Paolini Paoletti
Università di Macerata

Citations of this work

Relations.Fraser MacBride - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Transcendental idealism as formal idealism.R. Lanier Anderson - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):899-923.
Transcendental idealism as formal idealism.R. Lanier Anderson - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):899-923.
Processual Emergentism.Maciej Dombrowski - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.

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Four Dimensionalism.Theodore Sider - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):197-231.
The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The structure of objects.Kathrin Koslicki - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Fiction and Metaphysics.Amie L. Thomasson - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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