, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 27–46 | Cite as

Moderate structural realism about space-time

  • Michael EsfeldEmail author
  • Vincent Lam
Original Paper


This paper sets out a moderate version of metaphysical structural realism that stands in contrast to both the epistemic structural realism of Worrall and the—radical—ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman. According to moderate structural realism, objects and relations (structure) are on the same ontological footing, with the objects being characterized only by the relations in which they stand. We show how this position fares well as regards philosophical arguments, avoiding the objections against the other two versions of structural realism. In particular, we set out how this position can be applied to space-time, providing for a convincing understanding of space-time points in the standard tensor formulation of general relativity as well as in the fibre bundle formulation.


Fibre bundles Hole argument Intrinsic properties Quantum entanglement Relations Space-time points Structural realism 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy & Centre romand for Logic, History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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