Structuralism and information

Otávio Bueno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


According to Luciano Floridi (2008), informational structural realism provides a framework to reconcile the two main versions of realism about structure: the epistemic formulation (according to which all we can know is structure) and the ontic version (according to which structure is all there is). The reconciliation is achieved by introducing suitable levels of abstraction and by articulating a conception of structural objects in information-theoretic terms. In this essay, I argue that the proposed reconciliation works at the expense of realism. I then propose an alternative framework, in terms of partial structures, that offers a way of combining information and structure in a realist setting while still preserving the distinctive features of the two formulations of structural realism. Suitably interpreted, the proposed framework also makes room for an empiricist form of informational structuralism (structural empiricism). Pluralism then emerges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-379
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Floridi
  • French
  • Information
  • Ladyman
  • Structural empiricism
  • Structural realism
  • Van Fraassen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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