, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 283-287
Date: 11 Oct 2012

How (and how not) to object to objects: developments in structural realism

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‘Structural Realism: Structure, Object and Causality’ is a collection of new essays on structural realism that grew out of a workshop held at the foot of the Canadian Rockies in the summer of 2007. With 12 essays covering three grand themes within structuralism—namely the formal frameworks most appropriate to structuralism, the structuralist metaphysics of objects and relations, and the incorporation of modality within it—tracing the conceptual links between the contributions can be challenging at times. Nevertheless, this collection provides a valuable cross-sectional view of the contemporary state of the field, and especially so if taken when taken together with Bokulich and Bokulich’s recent (2011) edition on ‘Scientific Structuralism’. In what follows, I shall put the papers on formal frameworks for structuralism to one side and focus upon some of the more metaphysical topics that are dealt with in the course of the volume, and in particular those of identity, intrinsicality, onto