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Matteo Morganti
Università degli Studi Roma Tre
  1. On the Preferability of Epistemic Structural Realism.Matteo Morganti - 2004 - Synthese 142 (1):81-107.
    In the last decade, structural realism has been presented as the most promising strategy for developing a defensible realist view of science. Nevertheless, controversy still continues in relation to the exact meaning of the proposed structuralism. The stronger version of structural realism, the so-called ontic structural realism, has been argued for on the basis of some ideas related to quantum mechanics. In this paper, I will first outline these arguments, mainly developed by Steven French and James Ladyman, then challenge them, (...)
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  2. Interpreting Quantum Entanglement: Steps Towards Coherentist Quantum Mechanics.Claudio Calosi & Matteo Morganti - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy064.
    We put forward a new, ‘coherentist’ account of quantum entanglement, according to which entangled systems are characterized by symmetric relations of ontological dependence among the component particles. We compare this coherentist viewpoint with the two most popular alternatives currently on offer—structuralism and holism—and argue that it is essentially different from, and preferable to, both. In the course of this article, we point out how coherentism might be extended beyond the case of entanglement and further articulated.
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  3. Grades of Individuality. A Pluralistic View of Identity in Quantum Mechanics and in the Sciences.Mauro Dorato & Matteo Morganti - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):591-610.
    This paper offers a critical assessment of the current state of the debate about the identity and individuality of material objects. Its main aim, in particular, is to show that, in a sense to be carefully specified, the opposition between the Leibnizian ‘reductionist’ tradition, based on discernibility, and the sort of ‘primitivism’ that denies that facts of identity and individuality must be analysable has become outdated. In particular, it is argued that—contrary to a widespread consensus—‘naturalised’ metaphysics supports both the acceptability (...)
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  4. Moderately Naturalistic Metaphysics.Matteo Morganti & Tuomas E. Tahko - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2557-2580.
    The present paper discusses different approaches to metaphysics and defends a specific, non-deflationary approach that nevertheless qualifies as scientifically-grounded and, consequently, as acceptable from the naturalistic viewpoint. By critically assessing some recent work on science and metaphysics, we argue that such a sophisticated form of naturalism, which preserves the autonomy of metaphysics as an a priori enterprise yet pays due attention to the indications coming from our best science, is not only workable but recommended.
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  5. Ontological Priority, Fundamentality and Monism.Matteo Morganti - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (3):271-288.
    In recent work, the interrelated questions of whether there is a fundamental level to reality, whether ontological dependence must have an ultimate ground, and whether the monist thesis should be endorsed that the whole universe is ontologically prior to its parts have been explored with renewed interest. Jonathan Schaffer has provided arguments in favour of 'priority monism' in a series of articles (2003, 2004, 2007a, 2007b, forthcoming). In this paper, these arguments are analysed, and it is claimed that they are (...)
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  6. Tropes and Physics.Matteo Morganti - 2009 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 78 (1):185--205.
    Th is paper looks at quantum theory and the Standard Model of elementary particles with a view to suggesting a detailed empirical implementation of trope ontology in harmony with our best physics.
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  7. Combining Science and Metaphysics.Matteo Morganti - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Science and philosophy both express, and attempt to quench, the distinctively human thirst for knowledge. Today, their mutual relationship has become one of conflict or indifference rather than cooperation. At the same time, scientists and philosophers alike have moved away from at least some of our ordinary beliefs. But what can scientific and philosophical theories tell us about the world, in isolation from each other? And to what extent does a sophisticated investigation into the nature of things force us to (...)
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  8. Substrata and Properties: From Bare Particulars to Supersubstantivalism?Matteo Morganti - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):183-195.
    An argument to the effect that, under a few reasonable assumptions, the bare particular ontology is best understood in terms of supersubstativalism: objects are identical to regions of space(-time) and properties directly inhere in space(-time) points or region as their bearers.
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  9.  36
    From Ontic Structural Realism to Metaphysical Coherentism.Matteo Morganti - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):1-20.
    The present paper argues that the typical structuralist claims according to which invariances, symmetries and the like are fundamental – especially in physics – should not be understood in terms of physical relations being fundamental. Rather, they should be understood in terms of ‘metaphysical coherentism’ - the idea that object-like parts of reality exhibit symmetric relations of ontological dependence. The view is developed in some detail, in particular by showing that i) symmetric ontological dependence does not necessarily lead to uninformative (...)
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  10. Is There a Compelling Argument for Ontic Structural Realism?Matteo Morganti - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1165-1176.
    Structural realism first emerged as an epistemological thesis aimed to avoid the socalled pessimistic metainduction on the history of science. Some authors, however, have suggested that the preservation of structure across theory change is best explained by endorsing the metaphysical thesis that structure is all there is. Although the possibility of this latter, ‘ontic’ form of structural realism has been extensively debated, not much has been said concerning its justification. In this article, I distinguish between two arguments in favor of (...)
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  11. Inherent Properties and Statistics with Individual Particles in Quantum Mechanics.Matteo Morganti - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (3):223-231.
    This paper puts forward the hypothesis that the distinctive features of quantum statistics are exclusively determined by the nature of the properties it describes. In particular, all statistically relevant properties of identical quantum particles in many-particle systems are conjectured to be irreducible, ‘inherent’ properties only belonging to the whole system. This allows one to explain quantum statistics without endorsing the ‘Received View’ that particles are non-individuals, or postulating that quantum systems obey peculiar probability distributions, or assuming that there are primitive (...)
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  12. The Partial Identity Account of Partial Similarity Revisited.Matteo Morganti - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (3):527-546.
    This paper provides a defence of the account of partial resemblances between properties according to which such resemblances are due to partial identities of constituent properties. It is argued, first of all, that the account is not only required by realists about universals à la Armstrong, but also useful (of course, in an appropriately re-formulated form) for those who prefer a nominalistic ontology for material objects. For this reason, the paper only briefly considers the problem of how to conceive of (...)
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  13. A New Look at Relational Holism in Quantum Mechanics.Matteo Morganti - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):1027--1038.
    Teller argued that violations of Bell’s inequalities are to be explained by interpreting quantum entangled systems according to ‘relational holism’, that is, by postulating that they exhibit irreducible (‘inherent’) relations. Teller also suggested a possible application of this idea to quantum statistics. However, the basic proposal was not explained in detail nor has the additional idea about statistics been articulated in further work. In this article, I reconsider relational holism, amending it and spelling it out as appears necessary for a (...)
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  14.  81
    Metaphysical Infinitism and the Regress of Being.Matteo Morganti - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (2):232-244.
    This article offers a limited defense of metaphysical “infinitism,” the view that there are, or might be, infinite chains of ontological dependence. According to a widespread presupposition, there must be an ultimate ground of being—most likely, a plurality of fundamental atoms. Contrary to this view, this article shows that metaphysical infinitism is internally coherent. In particular, a parallel with the debate concerning infinitism about epistemic justification is suggested, and an “emergence model” of being is put forward. According to the emergence (...)
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  15.  79
    Dependence, Justification and Explanation: Must Reality Be Well-Founded?Matteo Morganti - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):555-572.
    This paper is about metaphysical ‘infinitism’, the view that there are, or could be, infinite chains of ontological dependence. Its main aim is to show that, contrary to widespread opinion, metaphysical infinitism is a coherent position. On the basis of this, it is then additionally argued that metaphysical infinitism need not fare worse than the more canonical ‘foundationalist’ alternatives when it comes to formulating metaphysical explanations. In the course of the discussion, a rather unexplored parallel with the debate concerning infinitism (...)
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  16. Weak Discernibility, Quantum Mechanics and the Generalist Picture.Matteo Morganti - 2008 - Facta Philosophica 10 (1/2):155--183.
    Saunders' recent arguments in favour of the weak discernibility of (certain) quantum particles seem to be grounded in the 'generalist' view that science only provides general descriptions of the worlIn this paper, I introduce the ‘generalist’ perspective and consider its possible justification and philosophical basis; and then look at the notion of weak discernibility. I expand on the criticisms formulated by Hawley (2006) and Dieks and Veerstegh (2008) and explain what I take to be the basic problem: that the properties (...)
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  17. Bundles, Individuation and Indiscernibility.Matteo Morganti - 2011 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7 (1):36-48.
    In a recent paper, Sun Demirli (2010) proposes an allegedly new way of conceiving of individuation in the context of the bundle theory of object constitution. He suggests that allowing for distance relations to individuate objects solves the problems with worlds containing indiscernible objects that would otherwise affect the theory. The aim of the present paper is i) To show that Demirli’s proposal falls short of achieving this goal and ii) To carry out a more general critical assessment of the (...)
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  18. Relationism About Time and Temporal Vacua.Matteo Morganti - 2017 - Philosophy 92 (1):77-95.
    A critical discussion of Shoemaker's argument for the possibility of time without change, intended as an argument against relationist conceptions of time. A relational view of time is proposed based on the primitive identity of events (or whatever entities are the basic subjects of change and lack thereof).
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  19.  42
    Reasons and Beliefs.Attila Tanyi & Matteo Morganti - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
    The present paper identifies a challenge for a certain view of practical reasons, according to which practical reasons (both normative and motivating) are states of affairs. The problem is that those who endorse such a view seem forced to maintain both a) that the contents of beliefs are states of affairs and b) that the conception according to which the contents of beliefs are states of affairs is outlandish. The suggestion is put forward that, by distinguishing the content of a (...)
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  20. Are the Bundle Theory and the Substratum Theory Really Twin Brothers?Matteo Morganti - 2009 - Axiomathes 19 (1):73--85.
    In a recent paper, Jiri Benovsky argues that the bundle theory and the substratum theory, traditionally regarded as ‘deadly enemies’ in the metaphysics literature, are in fact ‘twin brothers’. That is, they turn out to be ‘equivalent for all theoretical purposes’ upon analysis. The only exception, according to Benovsky, is a particular version of the bundle theory whose distinguishing features render unappealing. In the present reply article, I critically analyse these undoubtedly relevant claims, and reject them.
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  21.  61
    Humean Supervenience, Composition as Identity and Quantum Wholes.Claudio Calosi & Matteo Morganti - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1173-1194.
    In this paper, we focus on two related reductive theses in metaphysics—Humean Supervenience and Composition as Identity—and on their status in light of the indications coming from science, in particular quantum mechanics. While defenders of these reductive theses claim that they can be updated so as to resist the quantum evidence, we provide arguments against this contention. We claim that physics gives us reason for thinking that both Humean Supervenience and Composition as Identity are at least contingently false, as the (...)
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  22. Resembling Particulars: What Nominalism?Matteo Morganti - 2007 - Metaphysica 8 (2):165-178.
    This paper examines a recent proposal for reviving so-called resemblance nominalism. It is argued that, although consistent, it naturally leads to trope theory upon examination for reasons having to do with the appeal of neutrality as regards certain non-trivial ontological theses.
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  23.  52
    Science-Based Metaphysics: On Some Recent Anti-Metaphysical Claims.Matteo Morganti - 2015 - Philosophia Scientae 19:57-70.
    This paper critically evaluates some arguments against metaphysics recently formulated by Bas Van Fraassen. A more positive view of the relationship between science and metaphysics is outlined.
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  24. Identity in Physics: Statistics and the (Non-)Individuality of Quantum Particles.Matteo Morganti - 2010 - In H. De Regt, S. Hartmann & S.: Okasha (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer.
    This paper discusses the issue of the identity and individuality (or lack thereof) of quantum mechanical particles. It first reconstructs, on the basis of the extant literature, a general argument in favour of the conclusion that such particles are not individual objects. Then, it critically assesses each one of the argument’s premises. The upshot is that, in fact, there is no compelling reason for believing that quantum particles are not individual objects.
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  25.  3
    Quantum Entanglement: A Hylomorphic Account.Matteo Morganti - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    In this paper, it is argued that Aristotelian hylomorphism can supply a useful and informative account of composite entities as these are described by physical theory. In particular, a hylomorphic account of quantum entangled systems is defined in detail, and compared to other alternatives currently on offer—in particular, ontic structural realism. In closing, it is suggested that the view of entanglement outlined here meshes well with a recently proposed ‘coherentist’ conception.
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  26.  65
    Relational Time.Matteo Morganti - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wuthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Phyics. Brill Rodopi. pp. 215-236.
    This paper defends a relational view of time based on recent work on quantum gravity. Julian barbour's relational approach to physical theory, in particular, is developed as a basis for a relational, rather than anti-realist, metaphysics of time.
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  27. Sellarsian Particulars.Matteo Morganti - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (3):293-306.
    Abstract In this article, a critical assessment is carried out of the two available forms of nominalism with respect to the ontological constitution of material objects: resemblance nominalism and trope theory. It is argued that these two nominalistic ontologies naturally converge towards each other when the problems they have to face are identified and plausible solutions to these problems are sought. This suggests a synthesis between the two perspectives along lines first proposed by Sellars, whereby, at least at the level (...)
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  28.  11
    Truth and Success: Reply to Held.Matteo Morganti - 2011 - The Reasoner 5 (7):106-107.
    A reply to Carsten Held's Analysis paper arguing for the unworkability of the traditional scientific realist inference from the success of scientific theories to their (probable) truth.
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  29.  12
    Truth and Success, Again: Reply to Held on Generalist Versus Particularist (Anti-) Realism.Matteo Morganti - 2012 - The Reasoner 6 (6).
  30.  98
    Towards a Working Trope Ontology.Matteo Morganti - 2006 - In Paolo Valore (ed.), Topics in General and Formal Ontology. Polimetrica. pp. 191--219.
    A defence of trope theory as a workable ontology for quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.
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  31.  34
    Nils-Eric Sahlin, Ed., Ramsey's Ontology. [REVIEW]Matteo Morganti - 2005 - Philosophy in Review 25 (5):380-382.
    Review of a collection of papers on the ontological aspects of Ramsey's work.
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  32.  28
    New Realism and Scientific Realism.Matteo Morganti - 2012 - Quaestio 12:535-549.
    The recent ‘new realist’ wave in philosophy reacts to the postmodernist/deconstructivist rejection of the notions of truth and objectivity by affirming the priority of the real over the subjective and socially constructed. Crucial in this dynamics is, among other things, the refusal of the anti-scientific stance integral to the non-realist view. In light of this, it is advisable to look at the new realism vs. antirealism debate from the perspective of the seemingly more local dispute concerning scientific realism vs. antirealism. (...)
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  33.  31
    Individual Particles, Properties and Quantum Statistics.Matteo Morganti - 2007 - In Mauricio Suarez, Mauro Dorato & Miklos Redei (eds.), EPSA Philosophical Issues in the Sciences · Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer. pp. 175--185.
    Although there have been several attempts to resist this conclusion, it is commonly held that the peculiar statistical behaviour of quantum particles is due to their non-individuality. In this paper, a new suggestion is put forward: quantum particles are individuals, and the distinctive features of quantum statistics are determined by the fact that all the state-dependent properties described by quantum statistics are emergent relations.
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  34.  9
    Review Of: Anjan Chakravartty, A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism. [REVIEW]Matteo Morganti - 2009 - Philosophy in Review 29 (2):86-88.
    A review of Anjan Chakravartty's book putting forward a metaphysical background for scientific realism.
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  35.  33
    Identity, Individuality and Indiscernibility.Matteo Morganti - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 15:167-173.
    This paper deals with the identity and individuality of material objects. In particular, the view that identity is derivative on the qualities of things, based on the endorsement of the Principle of the Identity of the Indiscernibles, is studied in detail. This provides what seems to be a much-needed unitary look at, and up-to-date critical analysis of, the vast literature on the Identity of the Indiscernibles. It is concluded that the ‘reductionist’ view, dating back to Quine and, earlier, to Leibniz, (...)
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  36.  18
    Identity in Physics: Properties, Statistics and the (Non-) Individuality of Quantum Particles.Matteo Morganti - 2012 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 227--237.
    An argument to the effect that non-relativistic quantum particles can be understood as individual objects in spite of the empirical evidence seemingly lending support to the opposite conclusion. Ways to understand quantum indistinguishability and quantum statistics in terms of individuals are indicated.
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  37. Introduction À 'Atomisme Et Realisme Structural'.Matteo Morganti - 2004 - In Textes Clés de Philosophie des Sciences. Vrin. pp. 373--382.
    Introduction to the French translation of a paper on structural realism by Elie Zahar.
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  38. Oggetti Fisici.Matteo Morganti - 2014 - Lebenswelt: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Experience 5:42-52.
    This essay aims to discuss a potential conflict between two intuitions about material objects: a 'pluralist' one, according to which every object belongs to more than one kind, and a 'reductionist' one, according to which there is only one fundamental type of things, i.e., material things. The former view threatens to translate a merely subjective matter of fact into an ontological fact, while the latter naturally leads to an outdated form of physicalism. What then? How to satisfy both the request (...)
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