Structural Indeterminacy

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):365-382 (2020)
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Abstract

The threat of ontological deflationism (the view that disagreement about what there is can be non‐substantive) is averted by appealing to realism about fundamental structure—or so tells us Ted Sider. In this paper, the notion of structural indeterminacy is introduced as a particular case of metaphysical indeterminacy; then it is argued that structural indeterminacy is not only compatible with a metaphysics of fundamental structure, but it can even safeguard it from a crucial objection; finally, it is shown that, if there are instances of structural indeterminacy, a hitherto unacknowledged variety of ontological deflationism will arise. Unless structure is shown to be determinate, ontological deflationism remains a live option. Furthermore, I will consider whether structural indeterminacy could be challenged by adopting a naturalistic epistemology of structure; the question is answered in the negative on the basis of a formal result concerning theory choice. Finally, I submit a new way of articulating the epistemology of structure, which hinges on the very possibility of structural indeterminacy.

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Author's Profile

Alessandro Torza
National Autonomous University of Mexico

Citations of this work

Quantum metametaphysics.Alessandro Torza - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):1-25.
Ground and Modality.Alessandro Torza - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (6):563-585.

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References found in this work

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time.Theodore Sider - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):642-647.
A Defense of Presentism.Ned Markosian - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1:47-82.
Time and Physical Geometry.Hilary Putnam - 1967 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (8):240-247.
Social Choice and Individual Values.Irving M. Copi - 1952 - Science and Society 16 (2):181-181.

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