JOHN WORRALL case of realism’s ‘explanation’ of the success of our current theories there can of course be no question of any independent tests. Scientific. Structural realism was introduced into contemporary philosophy of science by John Worrall in as a way to break the impasse that results. (1) Epistemic Structural Realism, or ESR for short, holds that our epistemic by the publication of John Worrall’s ‘Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds?.

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Hence it seems that if we treat a theory just as its Ramsey sentence then the notion of theoretical equivalence collapses onto that of empirical equivalence. Mathematics as a Science of PatternsOxford: Alistair Isaac forthcoming argues for structural realism for secondary qualities.

John Worrall, Structural realism: The best of both worlds? – PhilPapers

Spatio-temporal relations are often exempted from this prescription since the idea that the position of an object is intrinsic to it is associated with a very strong form of substantivalism. Worrall’s paper is ambiguous in this respect.

All the accounts he considers make use of Ramsey sentences; Demopoulos investigates the logical properties of the Ramsey sentence and arrives at an argument against the structuralist thesis. On the other hand, Bas van Fraassen, defends an empiricist and non-realist form of structuralism about science, motivated by an illuminating reconstruction of the origins of structuralism in wortall debate about the epistemology of physical geometry in the nineteenth century, and more generally in the progressive mathematisation of science.

As Maxwell himself pointed out, his structural realism is a purely semantic and epistemological theory.


The most detailed and influential response to the argument from theory change is due to Psilloswho combines strategies I and II. Quantum gravity and structuralism is discussed by an outstanding collection of philosophers and physicists in Rickles, French and Saatsi From Conventionalism to Phenomenologypp.

Hence, for Psillos, structural realism is either false or collapses into traditional realism. Structural Foundations of Quantum GravityOxford: This goes beyond mere belief in the empirical adequacy of our theories if we suppose that the relations in question are genuine modal relations rather than extensional generalizations about concrete actual phenomena.

Metaphysics SturcturalOxford: Van Fraassen argues that the heart of the problem with OSR is this:. Theories, Structures, Underdetermination and Reference2: The structuralist solution to this problem is to give up the attempt to learn about the nature of unobservable entities from science.

Christina McLeish criticizes Kitcher’s theory by arguing that there are no satisfactory grounds for making the distinction between referring and non-referring tokens. Nonetheless most philosophers of physics seem to have concluded that if spacetime points do have primitive identity then the substantivalist who is committed to them must regard the failure of haecceitistic determinism as a genuine failure of determinism.

However, there are arguments from theory change that ralism not probabilistic.

This recalls the defence of Russell’s structuralism against Newman discussed in Hochberg If we formalise a theory in a first-order language: This is a standard metaphysical position that implies nothing so radical as any version of OSR. Hence, Demopoulos insists that the Ramsey sentence of a theory and the theory itself are importantly different see also Psillos b.

Jack Ritchie – – Synthese 1: Mirror Sites View this site from another server: A fully-fledged account only worrxll in The Analysis of Matter On this view, individual objects of structurral particular kind are qualitatively identical. They have the basic form: Gerhard Schurz proves a structural correspondence theorem showing that successive theories that share empirical content also share theoretical content. On the Plurality of WorldsOxford: French considers the implications of ontic structural realism for the ontology of biology.


Structural Realism

There has been much dispute about whether General Relativity supports relationism or substantivalism about spacetime. Relations between percepts mirror i. Jackson points out that this inference can be blocked if the natures of objects and their intrinsic properties are identified with their relational or extrinsic properties, but argues that this makes a mystery of what it is that stands in the causal relations.

They think we ought to abandon the attempt to defend scientific realism in general rather than on a case-by-case basis. Ladyman, Linnebo, and Richard Pettigrew present some relevant results in philosophical logic. We cannot know aorrall individuals, their first-order properties or relations, but we can know the second-order structure of their relational properties. Furthermore, this theory radically disconnects what a theorist worrqll talking about from what she thinks she is talking about.

Structural Realism in General Philosophy of Science categorize this paper. Classical and Quantum Objects in Modern Physicspp. Another related difference concerns the way in which structure gets demarcated.