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Profile: Kerry McKenzie (Western University)
Profile: Kerry McKenzie (University of California, San Diego)
  1. Priority and Particle Physics: Ontic Structural Realism as a Fundamentality Thesis.Kerry McKenzie - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):353-380.
    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 (...)
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  2.  59
    Against Brute Fundamentalism.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (2):231-261.
    In metaphysics, the fundamental is standardly equated with that which has no explanation – with that which is, in other words, ‘brute’. But this doctrine of brutalism is in tension with physicists’ ambitions to not only describe but also explain why the fundamental is the way that it is. The tension would ease were science taken to be incapable of furnishing the sort of explanations that brutalists are concerned with, given that these are understood to be of a distinctively ‘metaphysical (...)
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  3.  50
    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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  4. Thinking Outside the Toolbox: Towards a More Productive Engagement Between Metaphysics and Philosophy of Physics.Steven French & Kerry McKenzie - 2012 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (1):42-59.
    he relationship between metaphysics and science has recently become the focus of increased attention. Ladyman and Ross, in particular, have accused even naturalistically inclined metaphysicians of pursuing little more than the philosophy of A-level chemistry and have suggested that analytic metaphysics should simply be discontinued. In contrast, we shall argue, first of all, that even metaphysics that is disengaged from modern science may offer a set of resources that can be appropriated by philosophers of physics in order to set physics (...)
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  5.  35
    Ontic Structural Realism.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (4):e12399.
    Ontic structural realism is at its core the view that “structure is ontologically fundamental.” Informed from its inception by the scientific revolutions that punctuated the 20th century, its advocates often present the position as the perspective on ontology best befitting of modern physics. But the idea that structure is fundamental has proved difficult to articulate adequately, and what OSR's claimed naturalistic credentials consist in is hard to precisify as well. Nor is it clear that the position is actually supported by (...)
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  6.  14
    Structuralism in the Idiom of Determination.Kerry McKenzie - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx061.
    Ontic structural realism is at its core a thesis of fundamentality metaphysics: the thesis that structure, not objects, is endowed with fundamental status. Claimed both as the metaphysic most befitting of modern physics and radically at odds with more mainstream views, OSR first emerged as an entreaty to eliminate objects from our scheme of fundamental metaphysics. But an alternative view that physics does sanction objects, albeit merely as ontologically secondary entities, represents a different and seemingly less extreme route to the (...)
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  7. Arguing Against Fundamentality.Kerry Mckenzie - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (4):244-255.
    This paper aims to open up discussion on the relationship between fundamentality and naturalism, and in particular on the question of whether fundamentality may be denied on naturalistic grounds. A historico-inductive argument for an anti-fundamentalist conclusion, prominent within contemporary metaphysical literature, is examined; finding it wanting, an alternative ‘internal’ strategy is proposed. By means of an example from the history of modern physics - namely S-matrix theory - it is demonstrated that this strategy can generate similar anti-fundamentalist conclusions on more (...)
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  8.  71
    On the Fundamentality of Symmetries.Kerry McKenzie - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1090-1102.
    The view that it is symmetries, not particles, that are fundamental to nature is frequently expressed by physicists. But comparatively little has been written either on what this claim means or whether it should be regarded as true. After placing the claim into a general fundamentality framework, I consider whether the priority of symmetries over particles can be defended. The conclusions drawn are largely negative.
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  9. Review of 'Basic Structures of Reality' by Colin McGinn. [REVIEW]Kerry McKenzie - unknown
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  10.  27
    Looking Forward, Not Back: Supporting Structuralism in the Present.Kerry McKenzie - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:87-95.
    The view that the fundamental kind properties are intrinsic properties enjoys reflexive endorsement by most metaphysicians of science. But ontic structural realists deny that there are any fundamental intrinsic properties at all. Given that structuralists distrust intuition as a guide to truth, and given that we currently lack a fundamental physical theory that we could consult instead to order settle the issue, it might seem as if there is simply nowhere for this debate to go at present. However, I will (...)
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  11.  55
    Stephen Mumford and Matthew Tugby Metaphysics and Science.Kerry McKenzie - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):643-650.
  12.  88
    How (and How Not) to Object to Objects: Developments in Structural Realism. [REVIEW]Kerry McKenzie - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):283-287.
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  13. Arguing Against Fundamentality.Kerry Mckenzie - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42:244-255.
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  14.  1
    Being Realistic: The Challenge of Theory Change for a Metaphysics of Scientific Realism.Kerry McKenzie - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):136-142.
    Chakravartty and others have pressed that the defender of scientific realism needs to supply a metaphysical story, most saliently a modal story, of how knowledge of the unobservable can be possible. Here I consider the challenge the problem of theory change poses to theories of modal metaphysics.
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  15.  28
    Rethinking Outside the Toolbox: Reflecting Again on the Relationship Between Metaphysics and Philosophy of Physics.Steven French & Kerry McKenzie - unknown
    In a recent work, ‘Thinking Outside the Toolbox’, we mounted a qualified defence of analytic metaphysics in the face of ardent criticism. While sympathizing with other philosophers of science in decrying the lack of engagement of metaphysicians with real science when addressing central metaphysical problems, we also wanted to acknowledge the role that analytic metaphysics has played in providing useful tools for naturalistic metaphysicians. This double-edged stance compels us to identify what feature it is that marks out as problematic some, (...)
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  16.  39
    Basic Structures of Reality: Essays in Meta-Physics, by Colin McGinn.Kerry McKenzie - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):fzt073.
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  17.  22
    How (Not) To Be a Humean Structuralist.Kerry McKenzie - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 307--318.
  18.  6
    Chance Regained: David Albert’s Oeuvre Revisited.Kerry McKenzie - 2016 - Metascience 25 (1):51-55.
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