Do Objects Depend on Structures?

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):607-625 (2012)
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Abstract

Ontic structural realists hold that structure is all there is, or at least all there is fundamentally. This thesis has proved to be puzzling: What exactly does it say about the relationship between objects and structures? In this article, I look at different ways of articulating ontic structural realism in terms of the relation between structures and objects. I show that objects cannot be reduced to structure, and argue that ontological dependence cannot be used to establish strong forms of structural realism. At the end, I show how a weaker, but controversial, form of structural realism can be articulated on the basis of ontological dependence

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J.E. Wolff
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Structuralism in the Idiom of Determination.Kerry McKenzie - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):497-522.
Ontic Structural Realism.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (4):e12399.

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References found in this work

Every thing must go: metaphysics naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Don Ross, David Spurrett & John G. Collier.
Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The question of realism.Kit Fine - 2001 - Philosophers' Imprint 1:1-30.
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.
Philosophy of mathematics: structure and ontology.Stewart Shapiro - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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