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Every Thing Must GoMetaphysics Naturalized$
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James Ladyman, Don Ross, and and David Spurrett with John Collier

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276196.001.0001

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Ontic Structural Realism and the Philosophy of Physics

Ontic Structural Realism and the Philosophy of Physics

(p.130) 3 Ontic Structural Realism and the Philosophy of Physics
Every Thing Must Go

James Ladyman (Contributor Webpage)

Don Ross (Contributor Webpage)

David Spurrett (Contributor Webpage)

John Collier

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Ontic Structural Realism (OSR) and its relationship with the philosophy of physics. OSR is the view that the world has an objective modal structure that is ontologically fundamental, in the sense of not supervening on the intrinsic properties of a set of individuals. According to OSR, even the identity and individuality of objects depends on the relational structure of the world. In keeping with the principle of naturalistic closure (PNC), this account must not imply revision of special sciences for the sake of metaphysical comfort. The purpose of this chapter is to motivate OSR from contemporary fundamental physics, as the PNC requires. This chapter argues for a position that consists in the conjunction of eliminativism about self-subsistent individuals, the view that relational structure is ontologically fundamental, and structural realism (interpreted as the claim that science describes the objective modal structure of the world).

Keywords:   ontic structural realism, philosophy of physics, principle of naturalistic closure, quantum mechanics, individuality, space-time, objectivity, metaphysics, mathematical structure, physical structure

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