The Structuralist Conception of Objects

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Abstract

This paper explores the consequences of the two most prominent forms of contemporary structural realism for the notion of objecthood. Epistemic structuralists hold that we can know structural aspects of reality, but nothing about the natures of unobservable relata whose relations define structures. Ontic structuralists hold that we can know structural aspects of reality, and that there is nothing else to know - objects are useful heuristic posits, but are ultimately ontologically dispensable. I argue that structuralism does not succeed in ridding a structuralist ontology of objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-878
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume70
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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